Wednesday, 23 September 2009

'Honest Food Campaign' wins Tesco over

Now here is some really good news to report. Back on the 22nd of last February I filed a piece about the 'Honest Food Campaign' an initiative that seems to be driven by Nick Herbert, the Tories shadow to Hilary Benn the DEFRA minister. A particular concern for Mr Herbert has been the use of food labelling by supermarkets whereby certain meats are described as being produced in Britain when quite emphatically the pigs, chicken or lambs have not been born and bred in this country. The labelling all depends on where the last process took place: for instance a joint could be stuffed in this country and for that reason alone could be described as "Produce of the UK". Utterly misleading of course and something I've railed about before.

This is an example then in which an opposition party can be proactive. I'm not criticising Mr Benn particularly - I imagine he has a very full in tray in his large and diverse department and anyway being a vegetarian one shouldn't perhaps expect him to have the same passion on this argument as some others.

Why I am highlighting the campaign right now is the fact that Tesco, the Nation's largest grocer by far, is going to alter its labelling so that "Produce of the UK" really does mean that the bird or beast comes from this country. For some reason beef already does have stricter labelling - possibly due to the past BSE scare.

We are of course very conservative with a small 'c' in Britain and worthwhile campaigns like this don't alter attitudes and behaviour overnight; it's just a case of keep grinding away and eventually success will happen.

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