The European Commission has passed new legislation affecting all member states of the EU that makes nutrition labelling a mandatory requirement for all pre-packed food. While a number of products you see in supermarkets already carry nutrition information, the new legislation stipulates that this must be done on every single pre-packed product, and will apply not only to large food manufacturers but to everyone including small artisan bakers, jam makers, single-person entities etc.
The deadline for food manufacturers to be compliant is 14th December 2016.
The aim of the new legislation is to ensure consumers have accurate information available to them on all pre-packed products to allow more informed decisions to be made both in the supermarket and elsewhere. Studies had shown that consumers were either unaware of how much sugar and saturated fats were in the foods they were purchasing, or felt that the traffic light guidelines affected their purchasing decisions and led them to select healthier foods.
The European Commission felt that by making the legislation applicable to all food manufacturers, consumers would be able to make more meaningful comparisons between like-for-like products, and be better informed to make healthier purchasing decisions.
There’s certain requirements for food labels
The new legislation has also stated that information displayed on food packaging needs to meet a minimum font size so food manufacturers cannot get away with displaying information in a difficult to read place or position.
Are there any foods which are exempt?
Yes. Unpackaged natural foods such as fruit and vegetables are exempt. Products where nutritional information isn’t considered a factor within the purchasing decision such as mineral water is exempt and alcoholic drinks have been provisionally exempt and classed separately.
What if I don’t meet the deadline?
Failure to meet the deadline (14th December 2016) can result in trading standards or the Environmental Health Agency delisting your product, or force your products to be recalled. Whether you’re a small business owner or a large food provider it will be essential to meet the deadline and not end up with hundreds or thousands of lost sales.
The new deadline will require many food manufacturers to update the labelling for their products. In order to get a fantastic price, contact our team today by leaving a contact form or calling us on 01284 750900.