Food origin labelling: enforcement

Closed 20 Mar 2020

Opened 21 Feb 2020


The government is planning to introduce legislation that ensures we can enforce rules on labelling the Country of Origin or Place of Provenance of Primary Ingredients of Food where this is different to that of the food itself.  The rules mean that, for example, a cheese labelled as being British needs to make clear on the label if the milk used to make the cheese is not from the UK.  The large majority of meat and dairy foods on sale in our major supermarkets already provide this information accurately and honestly.  We are not proposing in this consultation any changes to what the existing rules already require on a food label.

The EU Implementing Regulation 2018/775 (IR 2018/775) sets these rules.  The IR 2018/775 was introduced in May 2018 and the rules it sets will be directly applicable in the UK, and across the EU, from 1 April 2020.  This consultation covers simple legislation that makes provision for penalties and enforcement of the IR.

This consultation does not therefore cover already-existing legislation: the (EU) 1169/2011 Regulation on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers; Food Information Regulations 2014 and; the (EU) 2018/775 Implementing Regulation.

When the UK left the EU on 31st January under the Withdrawal Agreement, we entered into a Transition Period during which EU rules continue to apply in the UK, to 31st December 2020.  Once this period is over, the UK will in the immediate term incorporate EU law into UK law, so this regulation will continue to apply at that time.

This consultation only addresses the proposed domestic legislation that will provide for penalties and enforcement of the IR in England.  Similar consultations are taking place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This consultation is aimed at food enforcement officials, food manufacturers, food retailers, food producers, importers and consumers.

How to respond
We encourage respondents to provide not just their opinions but also the supporting facts and reasoning to inform the evidence base for the development of final proposals. Respondents do not have to answer all questions and can choose those of specific interest. Questions which you do not wish to respond to can be left blank.

Please respond by 20 March 2020.

Please respond through the online survey (Citizen Space):

Responses can also be sent by email or by post, specifying which question(s) you are responding to:

Food Labelling Team
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Second Floor
Seacole Block
2 Marsham Street

What happens next

Defra will analyze all responses to this consultation and advise the government of consultees’ views. The government will take these views fully into account in making the decision on how to enable the IR 2018/775 in England, having consulted with counterparts in Devolved Administrations.

We will publish on a summary of responses and the government's response within 3 months of the consultation closing, in line with current consultation guidance.


  • Food Business Operators
  • Food Industry
  • Local Authorities
  • Consumer Groups
  • Local Authorities
  • Retail Industry
  • Manufacturing Industry
  • SME businesses
  • Trading Standards Officers


  • Food labelling
  • Food standards
  • Food imports