Talks are under way that could make it easier for online grocery shoppers to only buy British products, a minister has said.
Environment minister George Eustice said in a Westminster debate that he was in talks with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) about the labelling system for food online.
This week Conservative MPs urged the government to introduce a button to press while food shopping online “so that you can just choose from British products”.
The comments came during a Westminster Hall debate on the future of food labelling, where Eustice also said ministers were looking at using trademark laws to improve the labelling of Angus beef.
Conservative MP Rebecca Pow (Taunton Deane) said: “I would like to raise the subject of labelling on online shopping, because often, if one wants to shop online, one doesn’t know whether it’s British food or not.
“Would there be a way that we could consider having a button to press when you do your online shop so that you can just choose from British produce? Surely that’s really going to help us as we leave the EU?”
Fellow Tory Julian Sturdy (York Outer), who led the debate, said: “I applaud that and I think it’s an excellent idea. I hope the minister certainly takes that point on board.”
At the end of the debate, Eustice said: “She raised the issue of online shopping. Just briefly, I can say that we are discussing this with the NFU and it may be one of the ways that we can avoid voluntary principles.”
Eustice also said he would like to see improvements such as mutual recognition for food names and also protected geographical indication (PGI) status (to include products such as Cornish pasties) that are currently protected. He said: “We’re looking at whether we could use trademark regulations to develop brands in other areas.”