Labelling could help Cornish food producers, says MEP

09th November 2011 - Fine Cut

Product labels could boost sales of Cornish food, according to the MEP for the south west of England.

Graham Watson showed his support for upcoming labelling regulations following worries that they may prove to be costly for smallholders in the region, reported BBC News.

He said: "Food from Cornwall is exported all over the European Union. It is in our interest to be part of the labelling system. Cornish producers will have better markets because people buying their products will be able to see the quality of it."

The new regulations, expected to come into force in the next couple of months, require food producers to feature detailed nutritional information on product labels, with suppliers due to have between three and five years to comply with the rules.

However, an exemption exists for small volumes of handcrafted food, which could apply for some items. The Cornish Guild of Smallholders has baulked at the potential cost of the changes to packaging operations, estimated at up to £7,000 per product.

European Union guidelines caused something of a stir in the world of honey production this week after suppliers were told they must alter their packaging to inform the customer that the item contains pollen, according to Mail Online.

The European Court of Justice brought in this new rule after a German beekeeper sued the state of Bavaria after finding traces of GM pollen in his honey. The resulting court case led to pollen being reclassified as a food ingredient.

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