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Country of provenance food labels: 'A great day for British farmers, consumers and animals' - Liz Lynne

June 16, 2010 4:48 PM
Originally published by Liz Lynne
Liz Lynne MEP with NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond

Liz Lynne MEP discussed the provenance food label plan with NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond

The EU Parliament's vote today for food labels to show the country of provenance is a triumph for consumers, says Lib Dem Euro MP Liz Lynne.

In a series of close votes on the controversial Food Labelling Directive, MEPs decided to outlaw the practice of repackaging and reprocessing meat, fish, dairy or vegetable foodstuffs bought from all over the world and then branding it as 'Made in England' or another EU country.

However Parliament rejected a move for 'traffic light' colour code labeling to show nutritional value and the carbon footprint of foodstuffs.

West Midlands region MEP Liz Lynne has long campaigned for a system of honest and accurate labels for food and other goods.

Yesterday she discussed the plans for provenance labelling with NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond, who also strongly backs the proposal.

Speaking after the vote at the Parliament in Strasbourg today, Liz Lynne said:

"This is a good day for British farmers whose welfare standards are some of the highest in the world, for British consumers and also for animals.

"This vote means no one will be able to get around our high standards by rebranding food as British when it isn't, and conning customers into thinking they are backing British producers when they aren't.

"Our farmers and others in the EU have stringent animal welfare rules which are not followed by many producers in other countries - now it will be much easier for consumers who support these rules to ensure they buy food which conforms to them.

"Animal cruelty is a persistent problem throughout the world and even though the EU has good legislation protecting animals, the rest of the world is not always so humane. One thinks of the appalling conditions that are routine on chicken farms in Thailand and China for instance.

"Following consumer preference, there will also be a greater incentive for British or other EU producers to adopt even higher welfare standards and attract a premium value. Third world producers who want to export here will also be encouraged to adopt higher standards to compete. It is a win win situation for farmers, consumers and animals too.

"These labels will also help our producers of genuine speciality foods of all kinds grown and produced locally by taking away unfair competition."