July 19, 2012
-but barriers to implementation will need to be overcome -
The British Hospitality Association, while supporting the country of origin labelling initiative published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) today, says that providing such information on menus raised a number of difficult issues which had to be overcome. The initiative urges restaurants to provide information on the origin of the main ingredients in meals.
John Dyson, the association’s food and technical affairs adviser, confirmed that the BHA would work with its members and DEFRA to develop a workshop to examine the barriers for caterers and how these could be practically overcome, but that some caution was necessary.
“Of course, we recognise that customers are keen to have more information on the country of origin of key ingredients but in the current difficult economic environment and tough trading conditions a very practical solution, which will assist food service businesses in meeting their customers’ aspirations, will be needed.
“Many caterers are already very pleased to state the origin of some of the products on their menus, such as meat or fish, but suppliers – and their source of supply – can change suddenly for reasons of availability, cost, quality or other factors. Restaurants with standard printed menus will have great difficulty in allowing for such sudden changes.
“We will also need to take a graduated approach as outlined in the High Level Principles launched by DEFRA 18 months ago, so that information can be provided without additional administrative burdens.”
Mr Dyson said that the BHA would be organising a workshop for members in the autumn to discuss implementing DEFRA’s initiative.
For further information:
Wordsmith and Company