MEPs set to back Labour calls for country of original labelling for all meat and dairy products

The European Parliament is expected to vote today for Labour calls for all meat and dairy products to be labelled with their country of origin.

Under EU rules, it is already mandatory to label most fresh meat with the country of origin. In the resolution being voted on today, Labour MEPs will call for this to be extended to processed meat, milk and dairy products.

The proposals have broad support in the UK, including from consumer group Which?; the Women’s Institute; and the National Farmers’ Union.

Dame Glenis Willmott DBE MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on food safety, said:

“We believe consumers have a right to know where their food comes from and are calling for clear, honest labelling to enable consumers to make informed choices without being misled.

“This is something Labour MEPs have been campaigning on for a long time. We know it’s important to consumers – 90 per cent say they think processed meat should be labelled with the country of origin and 84% would like this labelling for milk.

“It is about clear, honest labelling that doesn’t mislead consumers. So if a lasagne is labelled as a British product, that should mean the meat in it came from the UK. At the moment, food producers can include this information voluntarily but the variety of different schemes can be confusing – our proposals would simplify things.

“This is also about enabling consumers to make informed decisions about where their food has come from, whether that’s for environmental reasons or out of concern for animal welfare. People increasingly want to buy local and support our national farmers, and country of origin labelling would help them to do this.”