Rural Affairs Secretary does not support ‘Not for EU’ food labelling proposals.
Concerns about “arbitrarily adding costs to businesses” at a time when consumers are already facing a cost of living crisis have been raised by Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon.
The UK Government has proposed a roll out of ‘not for EU’ labelling on food and drink products across the whole of the UK from October, despite the fact that food labelling is a devolved matter.
The Food and Drink Federation Scotland has called for a proportionate alternative and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon has sought further clarification from the UK Government given “the information that has been provided to us so far is limited and does not currently represent a convincing argument or provide any real evidence… why this blanket measure is considered a proportionate approach.”
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Steve Barclay, Ms Gougeon said:
“As labelling is a wholly devolved matter, the policy decision on whether to place this additional burden on Scottish businesses should rest with the Scottish Ministers.
“On the face of it, your proposals would impact a large number of businesses in Scotland who do not sell goods to Northern Ireland but would be required to change their labelling, or who sell into Europe and would be required to set up separate labelling streams.
“I do not support this GB-wide labelling proposal as it stands, and I am not persuaded on the information provided so far that there is a case to introduce it in Scotland. I look forward to meeting with you and discussing this issue in due course.”
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