Clarity urged on online origin labelling

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has called for more information on a product’s country of origin to be provided for online shoppers. 

According to a Mintel report, 11% of British consumers do all of their grocery shopping online with a further 12% doing most of their shopping online.

Ruth Mason, NFU chief food chain adviser, said that customers could easily misunderstand the country of origin of a product.

“Online labelling is a real concern for us. We feel that online labelling could be very much improved and we would like to see this addressed more under voluntary labelling principles. We are calling on Defra to increase the principles of the information on country of origin.”

This call came after retailer Morrisons came under fire from the NFU for offering Australian and New Zealand lamb under its Market Deals promotion, as it was concerned that consumers would be confused about its country of origin. The retailer does include country of origin for the product, as a recent addition to its website.

A spokesperson for the retailer said: “As has always been the case, all year round and in all stores, 100% of Morrisons branded fresh lamb is British.

“As we have in previous years, we will run a handful of non-Morrisons branded promotions between Christmas and Easter when we sell a small amount of non-British lamb.

“This is because a large volume of one cut (the leg) is being sold out of balance to the rest of the carcass. Again, the country of origin is very clearly labelled and the product is sold away from the counter.”

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