Food and Beverage Business

“FDH boss warns that ‘Not for EU’ labels harm investment and food exports”

"FDH boss warns that 'Not for EU' labels harm investment and food exports" Brexit, chilled foods, EU, FDF boss, food exports, Fresh produce, investment, labels, meat, Operations, poultry & seafood Food and Beverage Business

The introduction of mandatory ‘Not for EU’ labelling for prepacked meat, prepacked milk, and prepacked dairy products in Great Britain has raised concerns within the food and drink industry. FDF chief executive Karen Betts expressed apprehension in a letter to Minister of State Steve Baker about the proposed labelling requirements, citing potential negative impacts on businesses and exports. The government’s plan to enforce ‘not for EU’ labelling on all food and drink listed on the EU’s controlled products list, except those produced in Northern Ireland, has raised significant complexity and cost concerns for food and drink businesses.

The new labelling regulation is expected to lead to hundreds of millions of pounds in additional costs for the industry. Furthermore, the requirement for separate UK and EU production lines will deter small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from growing and investing, as they will be forced to comply with the ‘not for EU’ labelling rules. The new labelling regime also poses a threat to investment in UK food and drink producers, making the country less attractive to potential investors.

Betts also raised questions about the necessity of the new labels and the UK’s need to adhere to EU rules on controlled products, particularly considering the frequent changes in EU regulations that result in additional costs.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has initiated a consultation seeking stakeholders’ views on the implementation of the ‘Not for EU’ labelling requirements. Meanwhile, the Provision Trade Federation’s director general, Rod Addy, is analyzing the potential implications of the upcoming labelling requirements set to take effect in October 2024.

In conclusion, the food and drink industry has expressed serious concerns about the potential impacts of the ‘Not for EU’ labelling policy. It is anticipated that the policy will lead to higher prices for consumers during a cost-of-living crisis and lower investment in a sector that has already experienced a decline in investment. Stakeholders in the industry are calling for a collaborative effort to find alternatives to the government’s proposals that address the concerns of both the government and the industry.

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