The government will consult with industry and other stakeholders about changing requirements on food labels, including those on origin and method of production.
Defra farming minster Victoria Prentis responded to a written question about possible changes to food labels, following Brexit.
She said the government would start a consultation this summer “which will look to address evidence gaps on the impact, costs and deliverability on different types of labelling reforms.”
“We have the opportunity to review food labelling now we are no longer bound by EU rules to ensure information supports UK consumers’ food choices and the marketing of quality British food products. This review will be made in the context of the government’s food strategy white paper which will be published following Henry Dimbleby’s independent review of the food system,” she said.
Country of origin information is currently required for all prepacked food where its omission would be misleading to consumers, and is required for fresh and frozen meat of beef, sheep, goat, pigs and poultry, as well as for uncut fresh fruit and vegetables, honey, olive oil and wine. For processed food, where the origin of the primary ingredient is different to that of the food itself and the origin of the food is given, an indication that the origin of the primary ingredient is different or the specific origin must also be provided. In any case, where an indication, in words of pictures, of origin or provenance is given this must be accurate.
For method of production, an indication must be provided on shell eggs when sold as such and in the case of poultry, where it is stated must meet strict criteria.