The Scottish Executive's decision to make restaurants and cafés in Scotland label the country of origin of beef on their menus has been described by the British Hospitality Association as "perverse" and "fundamentally flawed".
Gavin Ellis, Chairman of BHA Scotland, said the move "takes no account of the difficulties and cost of implementing it".
He continued, "Statutory regulations will be very impractical to implement – and impossible in some cases – because suppliers do not always provide caterers with information about the origin of beef. Nor will beef on pre-printed menus – printed once a year by most chain restaurant groups – always be available from the stated country of origin when it is prepared and cooked. In busy kitchens, beef may be sourced from different countries of origin and may not be separated."
The BHA had suggested voluntary ‘best practice' of showing the country of origin be introduced instead.
However, the NFU welcomed the move, describing it as a "significant step forward", adding that clear labelling should be promoted across the industry.