UK - The UK government is committed to to improving the integrity and assurance of UK food supply networks according to the NFU, following the release of yesterday's report by Professor Chris Elliott into the integrity and authenticity of UK food supply.
NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “Food fraud is an issue that must be taken seriously as it is corrosive to consumer confidence, which has ramifications right the way through the food chain. British farmers are rightly proud to be growing the raw ingredients for the food industry, the largest single manufacturing sector in the UK, and its success is reliant on consumer confidence.
“Committing to British farmers on a financially viable and long term basis will help ensure UK consumers can obtain easily traceable and excellent quality UK products. It is also important that food service companies are not exempt from this process and are encouraged to make strides in shortening their supply chains.
“This report now requires the support of government ministers to turn words into actions to ensure UK consumers are provided with secure, safe and local food for consumers to eat.”
The Elliott Review also acknowledges the damage that the procurement policies of some larger retailers can have on the sustainability of UK farming and the integrity of the food industry.
It notes of particular concern is the practice of procuring goods for less than the recognised reasonable price based on market knowledge.
“The promises made by retailers in the wake of the horsemeat scandal need to be remembered, and promises to shorten supply chains and bring food closer to home should be honoured,” added Mr Raymond.
“We are supportive of the idea to create a food crime unit and look forward to finding out more about what this will look like and how it will work in practice. Although it is important that farmers do not bear the brunt of setting it up.
“Ultimately, this report provides a timely reminder to UK consumers to vote with their pockets. By purchasing food with the Red Tractor logo on, consumers can be assured they are purchasing a product that has been produced to excellent standards and supports a short, traceable and local British supply chain, which ultimately contributes to the UK’s wider food security.”
TheCropSite News Desk