Online grocers urged to flag British produce

The NFU is calling for British produce to be highlighted on internet grocery sites as part of a range of proposals to make online labelling as transparent as in-store.

Among the NFU’s suggestions to make British products more easily identifiable are for retailers selling online to identify British products on the listing page with a British flag; and for a British ‘filter button’ to be provided that would give online shoppers the ability to easily choose British products.

It follows a YouGov survey commissioned by the NFU that revealed 81% of UK adults think that online food retailers should provide the same amount of information about the product’s country of origin on the website as there is on the food packaging in store.

In addition, almost two-thirds of people surveyed (64%) say they would find it helpful to have the option to view only British produce when shopping online.

The value of online grocery sales is set to increase to £17.6bn by 2020, however the NFU claims the country of origin of products sold online are often not clearly identified and pictures of products often have no origin label displayed.

“Country of origin labelling is important because we know from public surveys that shoppers want to buy more British food products produced on British farms,” said NFU president Meurig Raymond. “Clearly, shoppers cannot exercise that choice without clear country of origin labelling.”

The NFU is also calling for country of origin labelling to be available to consumers in the foodservice sector, along with further measures to improve labelling of meat and milk as an ingredient in processed products.

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