The UK government is poised to introduce new food labelling reforms aimed at bolstering British farmers and providing domestic consumers with more transparent information when purchasing. 

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Steve Barclay will outline these proposed changes at a farming conference in Oxford, England, UK.

The plan includes “consistent labelling for foods that are produced to the highest standards”. 

The proposal comes in response to the need for greater clarity in labelling across the country, especially concerning imported produce that may not meet UK welfare standards. 

It also reflects an effort to address the challenges faced by the agricultural sector, including Brexit and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, ensuring that British farming remains competitive and sustainable in the long term. 

In addition to announcing the plan, Barclay will meet major online retailers to discuss how to inform consumers where their food comes from, including the option of a ‘buy British’ button on supermarket websites. 

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At the conference, taking place today (4 January 2024), Barclay said in advance: “British farmers take pride in producing food that meets, and often exceeds, our world-leading animal welfare and environmental standards. 

“British consumers want to buy this top-quality food, but too often products produced to lower standards overseas aren’t clearly labelled to differentiate them. 

“This is why I am proud to announce that we will consult on clearer food labelling so we can tackle the unfairness created by misleading labelling and protect farmers and consumers.”