17 JAN 2017

Dr Dan secures Minister's backing for honest food labelling

Dr Dan has secured backing from the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Rt. Hon. Andrea Leadsom, MP that honest food labelling for British farming and agriculture is one of the key opportunities to come out of Brexit.

Dr Dan highlighted that one of the current difficulties faced by the agricultural sector is the issue of honest food labelling which currently operates under the constraints of EU legislation. Under this legislation, food which is not necessarily grown or produced in this country can still be labelled as British produce. For example, food which is farmed or produced overseas may simply be sliced or packaged here yet it can still carry the British food label.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Dr Dan specifically asked the Secretary of State if she agreed that there is a real opportunity on leaving the European Union for us to see honest food labelling, meaning that consumers can genuinely know that food is grown, farmed and produced here in Britain and therefore choose British produce with confidence.

The Secretary of State responded by saying that although improvements have already been made through voluntary and compulsory schemes for labelling, she also agreed with Dr Dan and shared his concerns before confirming that this issue will continue to be considered as we leave the European Union and EU legislation.

Speaking on the announcement, Dr Dan said "This announcement by the Secretary of State is welcome news indeed for British farmers, not least of all those in Central Suffolk who I met with only recently to discuss concerns such as these. I have long been a champion and advocate of honest food labelling and am delighted that I was able to raise this important issue in the House."

"Clearly there are a number of other issues regarding food labelling and traceability to negotiate going forwards, but this is most certainly a very positive step in the right direction and one which I hope will reassure farmers in Central Suffolk that I will certainly do my best to represent their views as we continue on the path to negotiating our future outside of the European Union and most importantly, to ensure that Suffolk's farmers are well placed continue operating in our already world-leading food and farming industry."

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