Online grocery shopping could soon see consumers use a “Buy British” button to help filter out non-UK produce as part of post-Brexit policy proposals.
The plans – revealed in Houses of Parliament yesterday – means grocery retailers would update their websites so consumers can select to only list home grown food items only.
While identifying UK-produced food can be easy in-store thanks to frequently-used Union Jack labels on packaging, doing so online can be difficult due to the size of images and lack of categorisation.
Environment Minister George Eustace yesterday told Westminster that he had met with at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) to discuss the proposal.
The idea was supported by MPs, which could provide a welcome boost for UK farmers once the UK leaves the EU.
“Often if one wants to shop online one doesn’t know whether it’s British food or not,” Taunton Deane Conservative MP Rebecca Pow said.
“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?”
York Outer Conservative MP Julian Sturdy also applauded the idea, as well as Jim Fitzpatrick, a Labour MP who sits on the Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.
NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “From the independent surveys that the NFU has carried out over the years, we know that 86 per cent of shoppers want to buy more British food, so we would welcome any move which would enable them to back British farming.”
The news comes after a brief vegetable “crisis” last month, whereby lettuces, courgettes and other produce were in short supply due to severe storms in Spain – which highlighted the UK’s reliance on foreign imports.