- British consumers should have the right to know where their dairy products originate from, according to George Eustice, farming minister
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The MP is pushing for country of origin labelling to be adopted across Europe, stating the shoppers should be able to trust that the cheese and milk they are buying which has been labelled British has indeed been produced in the UK.
An EU-wide scheme would help support the UK dairy industry and meet the growing domestic and international demand for British produce.
Current regulations mean that a dairy product can be labelled British if it has been imported so long as it is processed and packaged in the UK.
Country of origin labelling (CoOL) for beef has been compulsory for over a decade, and was made mandatory for unprocessed, fresh and frozen pre-packaged poultry, pork, sheep and goat meat across Europe on 1st April 2015.
Recent research commissioned by the European Commission stated that compulsory CoOL for dairy products would incur considerable costs, but George Eustice said costs would be low if the focus was on milk, cheese, cream and butter.
George Eustice, farming minister said, “We know people place a premium on buying British and I believe they have the right to know where the milk, cheese and butter they buy has come from.
“We successfully campaigned for country of origin labels on beef, lamb, pork and poultry, which has allowed consumers to show their support for the British meat industry. Extending it to dairy products is a sensible next step and will be a significant boost for our hard working dairy farmers.”
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