A conference held in September by the Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum is set to examine future policy options around food labelling in the UK, including proposals to make food labelling “fairer and more transparent”.

According to organisers, the event will be an opportunity to discuss proposals put forward for consultation earlier this year by the current Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to make food labelling fairer.

Topics for discussion include the introduction of mandatory country of origin and method of production labelling, with aims to improve consumer choice and the market for higher welfare standards.

The event’s keynote session will be led by Davon Singh, team leader of food labelling policy at Defra.

Delegates will examine issues and practicalities for implementation of new mandatory measures for labelling, including the proposed five-tier system for standards. They will also consider priorities for the use of data to determine how standards in tiers can be measured and differentiated, as well as how this can be applied accurately across the whole lifecycle of an animal.

According to the Forum, sessions in the agenda will assess implications of proposals for industry and the wider agri-food sector, including managing increased costs, fairness and considerations for small and large businesses across the supply chain, as well as how added complexities and costs in the system can be mitigated.

Speakers will also look at strategies for effective communication with consumers to improve understanding and increase awareness of product welfare, as well as how labels will be designed to effectively signpost product transparency around standards.

With the Food Data Transparency Partnership white paper, published by Defra in April 2024, setting out plans for a new standardised approach to eco-labelling, organisers expect discussion on how a collaborative cross-sector strategic direction could be developed.

More information about the conference, which will be held on Tuesday 17th September, can be found here.