Sarah Lee is Head of Policy for the Countryside Alliance.
After five months of consultation and over 40 road shows, the Government’s consultation on the proposal for a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham finally comes to a close today. The Countryside Alliance has been following this debate closely, as the route runs through some of our most beautiful and protected countryside and communities.
What has become clear to us and many of our members is that the enormous human and environmental costs are being ignored. The Alliance has been conducting our own survey of members and supporters living near the proposed route, running in tandem with the Government consultation, and you can’t help but feel a deep sense of compassion for the people whose lives and livelihoods - and those of their families - are being destroyed by this hugely expensive Government project.
Dylan Sharpe is the Head of Media Relations for the Countryside Alliance.
You might think that if you see a British flag or the letters 'UK' on the front of meat packaging, it means that that animal came from a British farm. But you’d be wrong. Under the current EU regulations, if a country of origin is shown on a food label it refers to the place the product was last processed. So sausages made in Britain using Danish pork can legitimately be labelled as British sausages.
A YouGov poll for a new report by the Countryside Alliance out today, has shown that almost half of people look at country of origin labelling when choosing which product to buy (double the number that look at the nutritional information), and 74 per cent of people thought it was important that the meat products they buy have a British country of origin.
Of course consumers should be free to choose food from any country. But choice is only as good as the information that is available. Clear labels – which do exactly what they say – empower rather than restrict choice. However, only 39 per cent of people knew that a British flag or UK tag on a meat label meant that the animal was processed in the Britain. Therefore only 39 per cent of people know what ‘British’ means on a meat label under the current legislation.