Orkney and Shetland Liberal Democrat MP, Alistair Carmichael, has written to the Prime Minister following on from their exchange in the House of Commons on enhanced “country of origin” labelling protections for UK farmers. The Prime Minister yesterday suggested that he was in favour of closing loopholes in COO labelling and in the letter Mr Carmichael asks for confirmation on when legislation to do so will be brought forward. Today a National Farmers Union petition on enshrining food standards in future trade deals reached 1m signatures.
Commenting on the letter, Mr Carmichael said:
“The Prime Minister said that he supported removing loopholes and enhancing country of origin protections for farmers and crofters. If that is the case then there is no need to delay – the government can bring forward legislation right now. Farmers and crofters could have some peace of mind knowing that they will be less vulnerable to being undercut by future trade deals.
“I want the government to show substance behind the rhetoric. They must legislate to secure our farmers against food produced to lower standards.”“With a million people signed on already, the NFU petition in support of strengthening food standards shows that the public want action to back quality food and local farmers against unfair practices. I would suggest that anyone interested in supporting our farmers and crofters sign up now.”