News / Sustainable farming policy

Origin labelling must include all meat products

In response to the recent government announcement on Country of Origin labelling, Sustain believes it is backtracking on promises to help consumers know where their meat comes from.

In response to the news that government seem to be backtracking on promises to help consumers know where their meat comes from, Vicki Hird, Policy Director at Sustain commented:

“This is an unacceptable u-turn particularly after the horsemeat scandal highlighted long and often dangerous complex supply chains for processed meat. The problems largely arose in labelling of processed meat, so it misses the point to only require labelling of fresh meat.”

“We believe that not introducing country of origin labelling for processed meat products suggests the government is not serious in tackling traceability and transparency in this supply chain or in helping consumers to make informed choices.”.

“The horsemeat saga – where processed products were a major problem - and frequent meat food scares tells us that it is vital to change the way meat is procured, tracked and sold. Supply chains need to be shorter, cleaner and fairer. Origin labelling requirements for all meat, not just fresh, would help drive that change. Giving in to food industry bleating about costs and complexities is pretty unacceptable.”

This regulation must also include measures to ensure the costs are not passed to the already struggling primary producers – the hard pressed farmers who get such a raw deal in long complex chains.

See here for our work on good labelling.

Published 31 Jan 2015

Sustainable farming policy: Sustain encourages integration of sustainable food and farming into local, regional and national government policies.

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