(Brussels, 20 May 2020) Today the European Commission published its long-awaited front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling report, which provides a landscape overview of the various approaches to nutrition labelling which are found on the front of food and drink packages across the EU and at international level. The report also analyses the impact of front-of-pack nutrition labelling on consumers, businesses and on the single market.
The report, originally due by 13 December 2017, is required by Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, in order to assess the use of “additional forms of expression and presentation”, their effect on the Internal Market and the advisability of further harmonisation of those forms of expression and presentation.
Statement from FoodDrinkEurope Deputy Director General Dirk Jacobs:
FoodDrinkEurope welcomes today's publication of a European Commission report on front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling. The organisation welcomes the Commission’s intention to use the momentum to develop a clear political roadmap towards a single harmonised FOP nutrition labelling scheme in the EU, which should have the backing of all Member States and stakeholders.
Today's report shows that a variety of approaches to FOP nutrition labelling continue to exist across the EU. Acknowledging the possible co-existence of schemes on the EU market for the time being, we strongly appeal to the Commission and Member States to avoid further proliferation of national schemes while working towards a single, harmonised voluntary FOP nutrition labelling system in the EU.
In doing so, we call on the Commission (and Member States) to:
- Provide complete and consistent legal certainty and clarity (including mutual recognition and the establishment of a basic set of principles) in relation to all FOP nutrition labelling approaches on the EU market.
- Facilitate a continued exchange at EU level between Member States, Commission, and stakeholders.
- Refrain from introducing (further) national measures that go, directly or indirectly, against the free movement of goods in the EU Single Market.
Many European food and drink manufacturers have long provided consumers with supplementary information about the nutrient content of food and drink products on a voluntary basis, in addition to the mandatory nutrition table on the back-of-pack.
The European food and drink industry spearheaded voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labelling in 2005 through the introduction of Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA), now "Reference Intakes", which to date remains the only pan-European scheme in use.
FoodDrinkEurope and its members continue to stay abreast of the latest developments and scientific evidence to best inform consumers in a clear, objective, and non-misleading way.