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Government calls for more local food labelling

A Government press release today reports that Environment Secretary of State Elizabeth Truss has said that “local labelling, like showing what farm or county food is from, would help consumers take pride in buying British produce and support our growing rural economy”.

The press release highlights new research from YouGov showing 79% of British people see buying local food as important.  The Government is also pressing for clearer country of origin labelling at the European Union level for dairy products. This has been mandatory for fresh unprocessed goat, pork, lamb and poultry since April 2015.

In response, Graeme Willis, senior food and farming campaigner at CPRE, said: “For nearly a decade, CPRE has called for clearer and simpler labelling to allow consumers to make informed choices, and in our local foodweb work we’ve called for food outlets to stock more local food and to properly define and label it.

“The Secretary of State has been a solid supporter of local food and this call for local food labelling is a really welcome step in the right direction. The Government has a golden opportunity, as it develops its new food and farming plan, to show leadership where it counts: it should persuade all the major retailers to define local clearly, label it and stock it in serious quantities.”

The new survey from YouGov Omnibus, commissioned by East of England Co-op, also shows a host of reasons would encourage up to half of people in England to buy more local food for quality and taste (49%),to boost the local economy (42%) and create local jobs (41%), fewer food miles (35%)  and a lower carbon footprint (27%).

Graeme Willis added: “These findings really confirm our own research of why people buy and enjoy local food. We need all retailers to shout about these really important benefits and to ‘step up to the food plate’ by making it easier for shoppers to buy it as their first choice.”

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