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Fair trade means clear labelling

by 5m Editor
2 October 2003, at 12:00am

UK - At a major food policy conference in Edinburgh NFU Scotland has reiterated the importance of clear labelling of food to allow consumers to make an informed choice on the produce they buy.

National
Pig
Association

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THE VOICE OF THE UK PIG INDUSTRY

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & White-hall, and with pro-cessors, supermarkets & caterers – fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

NFUS remains concerned that a significant quantity of imported food is produced at standards that would be deemed unacceptable in the UK, yet confusing or unclear labelling does not make that clear to consumers.

Addressing the conference, NFUS policy manager Craig Campbell said: "When different countries have different production standards, clear labelling is absolutely crucial. Scottish farmers have embraced the ethical requirements of modern agriculture, which includes providing guarantees on the environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards involved. However, these efforts are undermined by the importation of cheaper food, produced to lower standards.

"Whilst fair trade means allowing open access to markets, it must also mean obliging companies to clearly state production standards and country of origin on their goods. This is an issue Government must pursue.

"In particular, farming is playing an ever larger role in environmental conservation. Conservation measures are not cheap. They have a financial impact either as a result of drops in production or investment in projects on farm. The marketplace does not deliver returns which reflect those extra costs and labelling does not provide any recognition for conservation efforts.

"As a result, Government must remain committed to funding environmental schemes on farms. If that commitment wanes and businesses suffer, the gap created in the marketplace will be filled by food that cannot provide the same environmental, food safety and animal welfare guarantees."

Source: National Pig Association 2nd October 2003

5m Editor