§ Andrew George
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many(a) labelling and (b) standards schemes there are relating to the nature and production of foodstuffs in the UK; and what the requirements are for each. 
§ Ms Blears
[Holding answer 13 March 2003]: I have been asked to reply.
The Government does not collate information on the number of labelling and standards schemes relating to the nature and production of foodstuffs in the United Kingdom. These schemes fall into two general categories: those based on European legislation (such as that on organic food production), and those more commonly referred to as food assurance schemes, which are largely voluntary.
Food assurance schemes generally set out certain production standards in areas such as food safety and hygiene, environmental protection, animal welfare and inspections. An independent review of 18 of the main assurance schemes (including those covered by the British Farm Standard denoted by its "red tractor" logo) was carried out for the Food Standards Agency and published in July last year. It contains detailed descriptions of those schemes. Copies of the review will be placed in the Library.