ISLE of Wight shoppers are being encouraged to support an EU-wide campaign to show on food labels how farms produce their goods.
Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner, who recently attended the launch of the Labelling Matters initiative at Westminster, joined fellow MPs in signing a letter to the new Minister of Agriculture, David Heath, calling for the introduction of 'honest’ labelling.
"It is important consumers are able to find out how their food is produced," said Mr Turner.
"Surveys show that up to 90 per cent of UK consumers think animal welfare is an important factor when shopping for food, yet more than 80 per cent of animals raised in the EU are factory farmed.
"Since 2004, methods of egg production have been printed on egg boxes and many now choose to buy free-range eggs, even though they cost a little more. More than half the eggs sold in the UK are produced using higher welfare methods such as barn, free range or organic systems.
"Shoppers should be able to make informed decisions about whether or not they want to buy factory-farmed produce. However, they can’t as it isn’t labelled.
"All animal produce should be labelled clearly and honestly with the farm system used to rear the animal. This should be the case across the EU so British farmers with higher welfare standards wouldn’t lose out to misleading or incomplete labelling on imported produce."
On the Labelling Matters website www.labellingmatters.org there is a video explaining the need for clear labelling and a petition to support the campaign.
The campaign is jointly organised by the RSPCA, Compassion in World Farming, the Soil Association and the World Society for the Protection of Animals.