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Fascist nonsense.

This is not a new idea (see Jeremy Paxman's book on Politicians) but it is a good one.
Let's hope Nick Herbert succeeds where Eric Pickles I think failed.

I am glad that Nick Herbert is highlighting this issue, although I thought it was already Conservative policy.

It's more than just an issue about "British" meat. The rules affect people who might want to buy more locally than that. For example, it's possible to buy an animal at market in Northumberland, take it over the border, and 3 months later it will be Scottish, for labelling purposes.

Libetarian. You clearly don`t know the meaning of the word Fascist. This is a very sensible idea that will not just benefit the public but will hopefully help British Farmers.

It would not make the slightest difference to what I buy to eat but I can see no harm in this. We already have all sorts of information that few people bother to read on food labels anyway.

One matter I would however like to see is the name of the original manufacturer on "Own Label" foods. For example large supermarkets such as Tesco, Salisbury etc do not MAKE the food in their stores but merely sell it. It us made by other companies with that supermarket's label attached. If the actual manufacturer was known to the consumer they could make an informed value choice.

I like it, simple but effective. Leave the choice with the consumer but help them make a more informed decision.

British farming has suffered enormous hardship under Labour and this kind of measure will hopefully give them a fairer deal. That said, the Conservatives still need to look at supermarkets abusing their power to push farmers to the brink of bankruptcy.

"Fascist nonsense"

I consider myself to be a libertarian. Knowledge is power. I think this is a good idea and one that has been far to long coming. We do have a right to know what we are shouveling into our mouths, were it comes from, who produced it what it contains.
What would be fascist I believe would be to allow producers to deny us the right of choice that such labeling enhances. Consider yourself told off LOL.

I'm at the conference so I'll let you know if it kicks off!

I'm at the conference so I'll let you know if it kicks off!

I think Nick Herbert is going to find this one quite difficult, given the EU rules on the subject. This has been tried before but one would not expect a Tory frontbencher to know that. Besides, British by itself, does not necessarily sell. British farmers come in all shapes and sizes. Speaking as someone who used to be Director of the Honest Food Campaign at the Countryside Alliance, I recall many efforts and many misguided ventures of this kind.

Helen are you at Eastbrook farm, or am I mistaking you for another Helen also from the Countryside Alliance.

"Helen are you at Eastbrook farm, or am I mistaking you for another Helen also from the Countryside Alliance"

I think I have worked this one out. Dr Helen, that is not eastbrook Helen.

The argument that is always deployed against this long overdue move is that it is against free movement of goods - one of the foundationsof the Common Market. This is largely based on the case against the Irish Government who launched a "Buy Irish" campaign. I can dig out the details if anyone really wants the exact details but I believe I am being broadly correct.

The facts that could 'distinguish' this proposal from the former case are that this proposal doesn't overtly discriminate against products from other member states but promotes an informed choice. If one chooses to eat pork from Croatia instead of from Ireland or Britian one is able to do so.

"Fascist nonsense."

It's not preventing the import of foreign produce nor infringing on peoples' freedom of choice. Yes, it's government intervention (and one could make a libertarian case against compulsory food labelling) but hardly fascist.

A very good idea and in keeping with Adam Smith's concept of having free information.

Since the markets are not really free, being dominated by a small number of purchasing organisations*, we have little alternative but to go with regulation to force information to be fuller and freer.

*aside from the obvious (Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose etc) the corner shop supply chain is dominated by one or two large buyers. In effect this means that for the vast majority of the population their "Choice" is actually very restricted, ie not a free market.

Excellent idea.

It will make a lot of difference to know that the food I buy has merely been processed by Eastern European workers in the U.K. rather than actually coming from Eastern Europe.....

.....The argument that is always deployed against this long overdue move is that it is against free movement of goods....

I am a free market fundamentalist, but even I fail to see how this interferes with anything.

Consumers should not be misled, and having labels that they actually understand is a very good thing.

" am a free market fundamentalist, but even I fail to see how this interferes with anything."

Exactly right, and in any case its up to the consumer to decide which (if any) nations meat they prefer to eat. The attempts to delay this legislation is anti-free market. There will always be a place for organically grown British meat. Is it the fault of good farmers that given the choice and the income many people will opt for the quality product. Those who are on a more limited budget may decide to buy something less well cared for, but should not be deceived by a lack of relevant packaging information.

OK, I get the concept, that British people should be given the necessary info to buy British products if they deem 'Britishness' a criteria of quality in their decision process, and currently the labelling is misleading and does not enable them to make this choice accurately.

In short, 'British' is a mark of quality that should be a valid selection filter.

What happens to a British employer who wishes to apply a similar filtering process to potential employees as he considers British employees superior too?

The only pork-pies that need clear labelling are those uttered by the Tories on EU policy!

Its not so much about Britishness being superior - its about informed choice and being consistent. If it is acceptable to mark bacon as being Danish or cheese or wine being from a particular region that has a special reputation why shouldn't we be told where our spuds were grown? ..or strawberries or asparagus?

Why does the place it was made make the slightest bit of difference?

If 'British' is a valid selection criteria, then it should apply across the board, if it is not, then it has no place on food labelling at all.

There must be a reason they want "British" on the label and there must be a reason they want to ensure that that label applies to only British produced food.

It is obviously soft protectionism, so why should it only benefit farmers andn ot other industries too?

How can you possibly object to this Chad? I always try to buy British if I can.Both because I like to support my countrymen and for reasons of self interest. If fewer Brits are unemployed then Britain will be a better place.
There is a big difference between informing people like me and introducing any form of protectionism by adding financial tarrifs or banning foreign goods.

So following your logic, how can you refuse British employers from having a preference for British workers, which for an industry other than farming, would also achieve the goals you quoted?

That also involves no tariffs, it just lets employers (like consumers) select people, like goods, based on their 'British' label.

I am just trying to get to the bottom of the inconsistency of Tory policy, or why they are showing preference for selected industries.


"There must be a reason they want 'British' on the label and there must be a reason they want to ensure that that label applies to only British produced food".

Yes, there is a reason why they want British on the label. It is because in certain farming products, e.g. pigs, sheep etc... British animal welfare standards are set above the EU minimium. As a consumer, I am prepared to pay a premium for this, but at the moment I cannot be certain where the meat is sourced.

As for other countries logos. I certainly welcome them - but that's a decision for their own GVN's.

"As for other countries logos. I certainly welcome them "

Exactly its a fair and flat plying field. As it stands you don't know were it is from. I want meat that has lived a good life on a good farm run by good people, who care about the welfare of their stock. Currently my best option is to visit a shop in a village and buy from a known farm. That's not really a free market solution. I cannot get the information I need from a supermarket, so I cannot go there for the meat I need. In reality I eat very little meat and am somewhat squamish but when I need a chicken I want a British Chicken and preferable one who spent its days in a pleasant place, a free range bird. Why can't we buy pigeon from Salisbury's anymore? It becomes a need to know thing.

So do you object to this campaign Chad?

Choice requires accurate information.

How can anyone object?

- Same as releasing full details of MPs expenses, we can only decide if we think they are valid/reasonable if we have all the detail...

Personally I would be more concerned about 'food miles' than anything else -- so even more detailed info would be desirable.

Also the proper labelling of meat that received GM feed...

It is right to give the consumer choice, it shouldn't be given only where their choice will match a pre-conceived 'correct' answer.

Well country of origin forms no part of my own purchases or other decisions, so it means nothing to me Malc.

I can just see that there is an unpleasant whiff of protectionism in the air following the econmic downturn and recent wildcat strikes, and this campaign looks like a cynical attempt by the Tories to associate themselves with "Britishness" in the run up to the euros with a bandwagon they can't really get on because of their EU policy.

Honest Food labelling campaign = Dishonest campaign.
This is under the remit of EU Know Who and they may cause a fuss but they can't do anything about it.
Are the Tories thick as 2 planks or just disingenuous?

As food labeling is an area subject to EU 'law', how do the Conservatives propose to change it? By handing a petition to the EU?
It is all very well campaigning for 'Honest Food' but how about some 'Honest Politics' first?

On the Conservative Party campaign website:
There is not one mention of the fact this is an EU area of regulation, not one.

Likewise I seem to recall that when Alan Duncan who launched the Conservative Energy Paper also did not mention that fact that energy was an EU competence and the press release did not mention it either.

T'would seem it is about time the Conservative Party acknowledged the 'Elephant in the Room'.

Mr Herbert ought to state the role of EU Directives in misleading labelling.

Repeat the Tory mantra after me "Don't mention the EU"!!

The question is which country is being referred to here?

Tesco's among other supermarkets label foods from Scotland, Wales and Ireland and even manage to display each country's flag on the packaging.

When it comes to produce from England low and behold the Union flag and British suddenly appear even though it is clearly stated where in England the produce comes from.

Work that one out!

Edwina Curry..........nuf said

What a great campaign idea !

British animal welfare standards are often superior to EU welfare standards.

That's why even a free-trader like me would never buy anything but British pork.

You buy "nothing but British pork", Wolfenstein. Nothing?

Super Blue, he said anything, not nothing.

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