Northern Ireland

Food industry groups in Britain considering legal action over ‘not for EU’ labelling

The labelling on meat and dairy products due to be introduced from October this year

'Not for EU' labels are appearing on food in our supermarkets from this weekend. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN
'Not for EU' labels appeared on food in supermarkets in Northern Ireland last year. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

Food industry trade groups in Britain are considering legal action over planned “not for EU” labelling, to be introduced later this year as part of the Windsor Framework agreement.

Producers claim the labelling, in part introduced as an attempt to bring the DUP back into government, will cost £250 million a year.

All meat and dairy products shipped to Northern Ireland from Britain are stamped “not for EU” since October 2023. From October this year, this will be extended to the same products in Britain, while fruit and vegetables will also have the label from July 2025.

Rod Addy, director of Provision Trade Federation
Rod Addy, director of Provision Trade Federation

Rod Addy, the director general of the Provision Trade Federation, told the Guardian newspaper legal action was being discussed as an option.

“We are not launching a legal challenge yet but it is being discussed and considered as a serious possibility,” Mr Addy told The Guardian.

John Whitehead, director of the Food and Drink Exporters Association, added a legal challenge was discussed by trade bodies as a last resort, but they wanted to “work with, rather than fight the government”.

A representative from a third trade body: said: “We want to work with government to find sensible alternatives to the ‘not for EU’ labelling proposal, that meet government and DUP aims and work for business, and we think these exist.”