‘Time ripe’ for origin labels law

THE FARMERS Union of Wales is urging the Welsh Assembly to pass secondary legislation forcing caterers to declare the country of origin of the beef they serve.

Gareth Vaughan, FUW president, wants politicians in Cardiff to follow the example of the “farmer friendly” Irish Government and insist that menus accurately indicate where any beef used was produced.

“The time is ripe for the Welsh Assembly to go it alone and adopt similar legislation to that being introduced in Dublin,” he said.

“There is nothing wrong with most imported beef, but some is produced using lower standards than we have in Wales.”

The Irish move followed lobbying by farming organisations, when DNA tests on beef that was assumed to be home-produced showed it to be South American.

The beef tested was being served in top restaurants and even the Department of Agriculture‘s own canteen.

The union has long campaigned for new laws compelling retailers and caterers to tell customers where all meat sold was produced and not where it was processed.

Recently members lobbied the Somerfield Group when its store at Bala in Merionydd ran a Brazilian beef promotion.

As a result union leaders will meet some of the company‘s senior executives in Aberystwyth next week (w/e Sept 3) to discuss the procurement of Welsh meat.

They also claim credit for exposing the sale of Argentine beef labelled with the little red tractor emblem in Tesco‘s Bangor store, which led to some staff being retrained.

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