I am aware of the recent investigation by the Times which found that some supermarkets have labelled meat and dairy products using specific images and phrases to suggest higher animal welfare standards than what is the reality in many cases.
There are no requirements for most food products (including meat, milk and dairy products) to display information on method of production, although some producers provide it on a voluntary basis. EU law says that food labelling, whether compulsory or provided voluntarily, must not be misleading to consumers, including information on the method of production.
As you may be aware, food information is a matter devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and falls under the remit of Food Standards Scotland. However, the UK Government has said that it wants to temporarily retain power over food labelling following Brexit.
As we prepare to leave the EU, I believe we need to ensure Britain continues to set the highest standards in food quality. We must not allow Brexit to be used as an excuse to undercut our farmers and flood Britain’s food chain with cheap and inferior produce.
In Scotland, much of our food is recognised as excellent because of our environment and our drive for sustainability. Our meat and fish come from the most natural of origins, and much of this progress has been achieved by adhering to European legislation for environmental protection.
I am committed to promoting best practice in cruelty-free animal husbandry and to ensuring better enforcement of agreed standards.