08.12.2011

New EU rules ‘to have massive impact on food labelling’

Food and drink manufacturers will have to fundamentally change the way they design their labels thanks to a new EU regulation, according to an industry figure. Lorraine Eve, head of regulatory affairs at Ashbury Labelling, said that the EU regulation on provisions of food information to consumers will have a massive impact on the way businesses develop and market their products. Eve said: “The new legislation sees a key shift from allowing the food industry to apply its own voluntary labelling requirements, towards a mandatory approach to regulating food labelling information – the biggest changes being the introduction of mandatory nutrition declarations and the setting of a minimum font size for labelling information. “These two changes alone will have a huge bearing on those within the food and drink industry who not only need to adapt their methods to comply with the new requirements, but will have to fundamentally change the way they design their labels.” Eve was speaking at the Food Safety, Health Claims and Regulation in Europe conference in Brussels. She added that the regulation should result in a more consistent application of the labelling rule, making the marketing of food across Europe simpler. “This is especially important with the increase in distance selling over the last decade. If consumers do not have access to the right information, then they cannot make informed decisions about their own diet,” added Eve. “Although the new regulation will no doubt create some challenges for the industry, hopefully it will demonstrate some real value to consumers that make the changes really worth it.”


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