25 October 1999
Britons buy British — if they can find it

BRITONS instinctively want to buy British food, but they have a problem identifying it in shops, according to a survey commissioned by the National Farmers Union.

Three out of four of the 1000 adults questioned believe British food is the best quality compared with other countries.

Half believe British food is kinder to the environment, and 62% think it is more humanely reared.

But nearly 40% said they cannot act on this loyalty, as British branding is not prominent on shop shelves.

NFU head of food and marketing, Helen Lowe, told Radio 4s Farming Today: “Accurate labelling is absolutely crucial.

“Just putting British on a product and saying packed in Britain is simply not enough.”

She said customers want to know where a product is made, and where ingredients originate from. Farmers have complained that imported foodstuffs processed in Britain can be labelled British.

Agriculture minister Nick Brown has promised tougher labelling regulations.