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With inflation expected to ease later this year, new post-Brexit labeling rules will see consumers face more to pay for food, industry experts warn.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverley confirmed on Tuesday for the first time that ‘non-EU’ labeling on food across the UK will be phased in from this autumn.
The measure is part of the Windsor Framework Agreement, which not only reduces inspections of British goods imported into Northern Ireland, but also ensures the EU that British goods do not enter the single market.
But the Food and Beverage Federation has warned that new regulations on labeling requirements and recycled packaging will push prices up at weekly stores as inflation falls.
The FDF spoke out after its leaders met with Rishi Sunak at the Farm to Fork Summit in Downing Street. The prime minister is under pressure to curb inflation from soaring food prices and risks failing to deliver on one of his five key promises.
He presented evidence to a House of Lords committee, saying that UK-wide labeling had been identified as the preferred option in negotiations with retailers prior to signing the Windsor Framework.
From October, prepackaged meat and raw milk will have to be labeled separately as ‘not for EU use’, with other products due to start labeling by July 2025.
Mr Cleverley told colleagues: “The practical point is that retailers are saying they want a UK-wide system. Philosophically Northern Ireland is part of the UK, so what we want from Northern Ireland is It seems logical to ask Britain to ‘do.
“I am very happy to have an all-UK system.
“We’ve been talking about this for quite some time, including the 2021 Directive, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to the retail industry.
“Of course they’ll want to know details about size and prominence, and I’m going to get the details exactly when and how.
“This is not just a sudden start. We’ve been talking about this for several years, but it’s going to be a few more years before it’s fully implemented.”
After the food summit at No10, FDF CEO Karen Betts said the event was “a constructive first step towards addressing some of the complex challenges currently facing the UK food system.” “It’s a step forward, and it’s evident in record-high food and drink prices.” Inflation and reduced availability of some products. “
But she added: “However, it is disappointing that there has been no more focus on the pressing issues and drivers of inflation. Some of these are beyond anyone’s control, but many are.
“Measures to fill labor and skills gaps, simplify current and upcoming regulations, as well as simplify post-Brexit label changes, will help bring prices down.
“It is important that governments take the time to ensure that the draft regulations, especially on packaging recycling, actually work. should be starting to drop, but it will add even more to the cost of everyone’s shopping each week.”
The government has announced that it will provide financial support to help companies change their label.
Food produced in Northern Ireland will continue to be manufactured to EU standards and will not need to be labeled ‘not for EU’.
Farm industry leaders welcomed the Downing Street food summit “very positively” as consumers warned they continued to face “massive” inflationary pressures.
Minette Butters, president of the National Farmers Union, said she believed the summit was “very positive” and said, “It was the first farm-to-fork food summit ever hosted by Number 10 and was very timely. Because, of course, we are facing enormous costs,” inflationary pressures. “
The union leader spent 10 minutes alone with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the massive decline in egg production, supermarket rationing of salad ingredients seen earlier this year and ways to make Britain more self-sufficient. said he spoke.
she said: “I’m sure he understands the issue. He comes from a very rural constituency and agriculture is at the heart of his constituency.
“He said he would like to see this work.
“I think governments need to realize that many of the regulations and laws we face are very costly.”