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    NFU says British dairy should be British

    NewsFriday 02 August 2013
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    The NFU has joined forces with the British Cheese Board, in order to underline its belief that any dairy products that are labelled as British, should come from British farms. 
     
    In a letter, which ran in the Telegraph yesterday, Peter Kendall, the President of the union, along with the British Cheese Board chairman Philip Ponsford, Dairy Crest CEO Mark Allen and Dairy UK chief Billy Keane criticised current labelling loopholes which they believe could mislead consumers.
     
    Their letter said the following: 
     
    The dairy sector is the largest agricultural sector in the UK. Only dairy products made in this country from milk produced by Britain’s dairy farmers should be labelled as British.
     
    With an annual output of £3.8 billion and directly supporting over fifty thousand jobs, 14,500 British dairy farmers put their hard work, skill and time into producing and supplying top-quality milk, which in turn produces fresh, healthy, natural dairy products.
     
    Following a difficult couple of years, with increasing costs of production and adverse weather conditions, British dairy farmers need our support.
     
    And consumers want to support them, with 86 per cent of shoppers wanting more traceable products produced by British farmers. For this to work, we need a labelling system which seeks to encourage, inform and help consumers.
     
    We need products which are labelled as British to come from British dairy farms. At the moment, this is not the case, with some imported dairy products, in particular cheese, given UK marks. This is misleading consumers and is unfair to hard working dairy farmers.
     
    The legislation we are seeking to change is European. We welcome the recent progress and support made by the UK Government on this, but there is more to do. We are therefore asking the European Commission to introduce mandatory labelling for dairy products that will clearly inform consumers of the country of origin of the milk and the place of manufacture of the product.
     
    Our aim is simple; only dairy products made in this country from milk produced by Britain’s dairy farmers should be labelled as British.
     
    Yours faithfully,
     
    Mark Allen, CEO, Dairy Crest
    Billy Keane, Chairman, Dairy UK
    Peter Kendall, President, NFU
    Philip Ponsford, Chairman, British Cheese Board
     
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