Top multiples sign-up to campaign

Tesco and Morrisons have signed up to a campaign to improve country of origin labelling on meat products. The retail giants have agreed to back the Conservative Party’s ‘Honest Food’ campaign and provide more information to consumers about where its meat products come from.

The Tory scheme was launched in February this year with the backing of farming and animal welfare groups.

Tesco and Morrisons will be joining Sainsbury’s M&S and Waitrose which have already backed the campaign, which sees the retailers pledge to introduce clear statements on all products containing 10% meat and higher, and the replacement of the term ‘Produced in the UK’ with the term ‘Made in the UK with meat from X’ when a product is manufactured in the UK but contains non-British meat.

The Conservatives said Asda was also currently reviewing its labelling to ensure their customers have accurate information about where products are made and come from.

Shadow environment secretary Nick Herbert said: “The Honest Food campaign is succeeding where the government has failed. Ministers have made no credible attempt to improve country of origin labelling and it is Conservatives who are driving change for the benefit of consumers and British farmers.

“People want clear information about where their food comes from, and the supermarkets are responding. Until now a voluntary agreement has not seemed possible, but Tesco and Morrison’s support for the Honest Food campaign is a significant step forward. Everyone would welcome a satisfactory voluntary scheme, but we remain committed to compulsory country of origin labelling until this is secured across the board.”

The move was welcomed by the National Farmers Union. Director of policy Martin Haworth said: “Backing from Tesco for the Honest Food campaign is good news. The NFU would like to see all major retailers supporting this campaign to give their consumers the most accurate information about where their food comes from, and to stop misleading practices.