Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

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Priorities for food labelling in the UK

mandatory country of origin & method of production labelling | welfare standards | cross-sector coordination & implementation | eco-labelling | consumer choice & transparency | innovation, data & evidence

TO BE PUBLISHED October 2024

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

This conference will examine key priorities for food labelling in the UK.

It will be a timely opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the future outlook for food labelling in the new parliament and next steps for transparency with consumers.

Areas for discussion include the potential introduction of mandatory country of origin and method of production labelling, with aims to make food labelling fairer and more transparent, also looking at improving consumer choice, and boosting the market for higher welfare standards.

Delegates will examine issues and practicalities for the implementation of any proposed new mandatory measures for labelling, including the currently proposed five-tier system for standards. They will also consider priorities for the evidence-base and use of data to determine how standards can be measured and differentiated, as well as how this can be applied accurately across the whole lifecycle of an animal.

Sessions in the agenda will assess implications of proposals for industry and the wider agri-food sector, including fairness, considerations for small and large businesses across the supply chain, and how added complexities and costs in the system can be mitigated.

Delegates will also look at strategies for effective communication with consumers to improve understanding and increase awareness of product welfare, as well as how labels will be designed to effectively signpost standards.

With the Food Data Transparency Partnership white paper published by Defra in April 2024, setting out plans for a new standardised approach to eco-labelling, we expect discussion on what a collaborative, cross-sector strategic direction might look like. Attendees will examine challenges for implementation, including priorities for the development of an aligned industry methodology for climate data measuring and reporting, following concerns raised by some stakeholders, as well as methods for effective consumer communication to increase the uptake of sustainable food choices.

Further areas for discussion include implications of transparency on food safety and standards, key issues for incorporating technology into labelling practices, and how future food labels may appear on-pack.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Davon Singh, Team Leader, Food Labelling Policy, Defra; Catherine Jadav, Research Manager, Compassion in World Farming; Professor Monique Raats, Co-Director, Institute for Sustainability, University of Surrey; Iain Walker, Director, Industry & Engagement, GS1 UK; and Fidelity Weston, Chair, CLEAR.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • policy: the landscape for food and drink labelling in the UK - assessing proposals outlined in Defra’s consultation - what is needed from policy and key stakeholders to deliver proposed changes
  • welfare and standards: country of origin and method of production labelling - navigating added costs and complexities in the system - utilising data - measuring standards - alternative strategies for labelling
  • transparency: improving fairness across the whole supply chain - options for effectively signposting food safety and standards - establishing consistency with labels
  • eco-labelling: strategic priorities for a new standardised approach to eco-labelling - collaboration between key stakeholders and government - effective consumer communication - improving equal access and opportunities for small and large businesses
  • innovation: the future make-up of food labels - latest developments in technologies - QR codes and data - holistic approaches - addressing accessibility concerns between small and large businesses - consumer reach

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from Defra; DAERA, NI; FSA; FSS; DoH, ROI; Invest NI; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government - as well as a parliamentary pass-holder from the House of Commons.

The proceedings of the conference will be circulated more widely, to Parliamentarians, ministerial offices, and government and regulatory officials with an interest in the issues being discussed. All delegates will also receive a video recording of the conference.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materialfs, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda