Clear country of origin labelling (COOL) is an issue the WI has been lobbying on since 2010. The last round of negotiations on this saw Members of the European Parliament agree to adopt regulations to include the origin of fresh meat on their labels, yet for other produce, UK consumers have been left to rely on retailers signing up to a voluntary scheme amid concern that mandatory origin labelling is too complex and expensive.
We know that consumers want country of origin labelling that reflects their understanding of food. With meat products they want to know where the animal was reared, rather than where the final product was packed and produced.
The NFWI has urged the government to back whole scale reform of food labelling laws, and to use their influence in establishing a European consensus on new regulations following the recent problems highlighted by supply chain contamination with horse meat. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has reported that he has secured a commitment to speed up the review of labelling, expected to report later this year. The NFWI will continue to monitor developments.