NFU sets outs goals for food labels

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food standards agency, Nutrition

Calls for food makers to place the country of origin on more food
labels hail from the UK's leading farming lobbying group.

Clarifying its policies and positions, the National Farmers' Union said it wanted to see the mandatory country of origin labelling on more foods, especially processed meat and dairy products.

"Surveys have shown that although price and freshness are the main overall concerns, the majority of people believe that country of origin information should be available to enable choice,"​ claims the NFU in a statement.

The biggest farmers' union in the UK suggests the adoption of 'produce of' and 'packed in', or 'produced and packed in' labels, to be the right direction for clear consumer-driven information.

Showing clear support for the food industry, the NFU said it backed proposals based on the controversial GDAs (Guideline Daily Amount).

GDAs have provoked a mixed reaction in the UK. The government's food watchdog, the Food Standards Agency has rejected the ideas in favour of a multiple traffic light system. An approach for labels that alerts the consumer to high, medium or low levels of key nutrients.

Backing up its position, the FSA published research last November that claimed UK consumers had a preference for light system.

But industry continues to endorse the GDAs.

This week​ the British arm of Nestlé became the latest food producer to revamp its nutrition labels, printing guideline daily amounts (GDA) for calories and fat alongside per serving nutritional information across its whole UK product portfolio, including confectionery, breakfast cereals, coffee and pasta.

The new packs, set to appear in April, will also include calories per serving on their front and back.

On GDAs, the NFU said: "This will present a standardised, factual message to consumers with no potential to be misleading. Any profiling and signposting system must not result in mis-categorisation of food."

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