(Brussels, 15 March 2017) We have learnt that the French government has announced a recommendation on a voluntary nutrition labelling scheme called "Nutri-Score". This is based on testing the French government has commissioned at the end of last year, in co-operation with the French food industry.
Constantly reflecting on ways to enhance nutrition information for consumers, FoodDrinkEurope and its members have been following the French testing of various labelling schemes – the first of this kind in Europe - with much interest. We are indeed convinced that consumer research provides a useful starting point for further stakeholder discussion, and we intend to look deeper into the study to take maximum learnings from the French experimentation.
Discussion on a coordinated approach to FOP labelling should take place at European level. It should also be consistent with the Reference Intakes approach that the European food and drink sector has pioneered and should ensure meaningful, science-based and non-discriminatory information to consumers.
We regret that today's announcement of a French national scheme adds yet another potential layer of complexity to what should be a pan-European approach to FOP labelling. Any proliferation of national schemes should be avoided, as this may hamper the free movement of goods in the EU Single Market; instead, discussion on a co-ordinated approach to FOP nutrition labelling should take place at EU level, in close consultation and agreement with all stakeholders.
We also call on the European Commission to assess whether the French recommendation is compliant with EU rules, most notably Article 35 of Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.
We look forward to further dialogue with French and European authorities to discuss how to incorporate useful consumer feedback on the basis of consumer research and science.