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COOL to Be "Main Thrust" for MPs

by 5m Editor
16 July 2008, at 12:06pm

UK - A delegation of pig industry leaders, including two Norfolk producers, will press Europe to adopt clear labelling for pork, bacon and ham.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, who has campaigned tirelessly on food labelling since his election seven years ago, will travel to Brussels today to meet European Commission officials, reports the Eastern Daily Press.

The five-strong group will also meet German MEP Rene Sommer, who is heading a review of food labelling rules for the European Parliament. “It does seem from preliminary conversations that country of origin labelling may be the main thrust. And that's my main interest,“ he added.

Mr Bacon, who plans to introduce a bill in the Commons this autumn on food labels, is keen to ensure that his proposals “dovetail“ with moves in Europe.

Norfolk farmer Jimmy Butler, who runs Blythburgh Free Range Pork, will be joined by award-winning producer, Philip Richardson, from Downham, near Wymondham, and Yorkshire farmer, Stewart Houston, chairman of the National Pig Association.

“Consumers are being misled by inaccurate labelling,“ said Mr Butler, who contacted eastern region MEP Robert Sturdy and his MP John Gummer as well as Mr Bacon to get action on this issue.

“The average British housewife doesn't turn over and look at the most microscopic writing on the back to find it comes from Poland,“ said Mr Butler.

“I've been campaigning on this topic for years. So I was pleased to have the opportunity to go to Brussels to put our case,“ he added.

Mr Richardson, who took the decision to get out of pig production, still has 40 sows left. “We're going to be banging the drum for labelling country of origin yet again,“ he added.

View the Eastern Daily Press story by clicking here.

5m Editor