NFU calls for greater honesty in labelling

NFU president Peter Kendall has called for retailers to be honest about what food is put on the shelf by clearer and fairer labelling.

Speaking at Pig and Poultry LIVE 2011, Mr Kendall said there was a lot of confusion for consumers when it came to buying meat products and urged retailers, as well as the wider industry, to do something about it.

“Complicated issues such as genetically modified (GM) products and Processed Animal Protein (PAP) need explaining and the industry has an obligation to do this,” he said.

When delegates at the conference were asked whether they thought education on issues such as GM and PAP would help consumer decisions, 95% of the 450 delegates attending responded “yes”.

However, Mr Kendall stressed when educating consumers, the industry had to be consistent in its messages and the language it chose to use was also an important aspect.

This was something Assured Food Standard’s David Clarke also recognised, explaining how the Red Tractor logo was still an important vehicle in getting messages across.

Speaking to Farmers Weekly on the launch day of the Red Tractor 4 Wheels Manifesto, Mr Clarke said raising awareness of the Red Tractor logo as well as the messages behind the logo were important. But communication had to be multifaceted, he stressed.

“In order to educate the consumer there has got to be different levels of communication, to different age groups and at different venues.

“The whole idea of this new campaign is to reinforce commitment to the logo from key stakeholders and opinion leaders, raise awareness and inform about the values behind the brand.”

As part of the Red Tractor 4 Wheels Manifesto people are being urged to pledge their support by signing a giant wheel touring the country or online, for the four principles behind the Red Tractor scheme.

These are increased transparency, safety, animal welfare and environmental protection in food production.

* Read more from Pig and Poultry LIVE 2011.

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