British meat disappearing

British meat is disappearing from supermarket shelves under Labour rule, an opposition party has claimed.

The Liberal Democrats have accused the government of failing British farmers over the past decade, adding that "the evidence is clear to see on supermarket shelves."

The attack comes after a Defra representative admitted to Parliament that consumption of domestically produced meat has fallen by 10% since 1997, with only 65% of the meat eaten on at British tables now coming from British farms.

"Labour has done to the countryside what Thatcher did to the industrialised areas of the north - and as was the case then, the whole country is paying the price," said Lib Dem agriculture representative Tim Farron.

"British producers stand proud because of their high animal welfare standards. But under this government, higher standards have meant higher prices, so now only 65% of the meat eaten at our kitchen tables is produced on British farms."

The Lib Dems launched their own plans to move the UK towards a sustainable food supply on Wednesday (11 March). Proposals included a focus on fair trade, a minimum threshold for single farm payments and a legally binding supermarket code.

"If we are to improve our food security we must insist on fair trade," said Farron. "The Liberal Democrats would introduce a fair deal for British farmers and improve consumer awareness, moving us towards a more secure and environmentally sustainable food supply."