NFU Scotland has applauded the French government for introducing Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) on processed meat and dairy products, commenting that its “can do” attitude is something Scottish and UK politicians need to adopt.
“Time and time again we have pressed Scottish and UK politicians to do this,” said union chief executive, Scott Walker. “Of the many reasons given as to why it can’t be done is the oft used one that EU rules don’t allow it. Well that’s not an excuse they will be able to use for much longer.”
Commenting via a blog on the NFUS website, Mr Walker (pictured above), said that, in addition to France being given EU backing to introduce COOL for a trial period, there were already rumours that Italy, Portugal and Lithuania want similar origin labelling schemes.
“EU food manufacturers are against it, for their own reasons,” he said. “They don’t want to have to tell consumers from which country the ingredients in processed foods come. At the same time, however, some manufacturers already provide such information on the label and are proud to declare from where their ingredients come.
“We know that consumers support and want COOL, of course. In a January 2013 report, the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), found that 70% of Europeans support food-origin labels, a figure which jumps to 90% when discussing meat products.”
Mr Walker added that, in setting the priorities to be addressed by the Scottish and UK Governments in negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU, the union has asked for “clear and unambiguous country of origin labelling on meat, meat products, milk and dairy products to be delivered as soon as possible”.