New research by ComRes suggests that consumers will avoid buying meat if there is uncertainty in regard to whether it has been produced in the UK due to concerns surrounding importing standards following Brexit.
The results, taken from a survey conducted on over 2,000 UK adults, come after warnings by the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee that animal welfare and quality standards could drop as a result of Brexit.
This suggests that packaging and manufacturing companies should take care when labelling meat products post-Brexit.
The results from the ComRes survey show that 48% of British adults are less likely to buy meat if they cannot be sure it has been produced in the UK, while 42% place the risk of food mislabelling among their top three concerns for imported food standards following Brexit.
If a no-deal Brexit is finalised, the food industry has warned that this could cause food prices to soar due to the UK’s reliance on imports. As a result, food mislabelling could creep in due to a lack of coordination with EU regulators.
The UK currently imports half of all its food, with over 40% of imports coming from the EU or countries with EU trade deals.
The survey, commissioned by Oritain, a forensic traceability company, found that 69% of people say that in the five years since the 2013 horsemeat scandal, they have become more concerned that food may be different from what the label claims. The scandal led to the EU concentrating efforts on reducing food fraud, and after Brexit, the public may be concerned about the reliability of where their food and beverage products are sourced from.
Grant Cochrane, CEO of Oritain, said: “Shoppers are increasingly looking for assurances of where their food is from and now we’re seeing their trust in imported products waning. Modern food supply chains are incredibly complex – food can cross multiple borders and pass through many hands before it reaches our shelves. With each exchange the risk of fraud and malpractice increases.
“Testing the intrinsic properties of food offers the assurances of origin that shoppers are looking for, rather than relying on labels or additives that can be forged or tampered with.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019