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Policies & Issues: Food

Labelling
Food labelling is an emotive issue and one of great importance to UK grocery retailers. The BRC's main priority areas in labelling are nutrition labelling and, particularly, the way in which this appears on the front of packs and country of origin labelling. Both of these issues, amongst others, are being reviewed in Europe under the proposed Regulation on Consumer Information. The outcome of this huge piece of regulation is very important to UK retailers and the BRC has been actively campaigning to ensure the excellent work members have done in labelling is not reversed or downgraded.

Communication nutrition labelling changes to Consumers

The BRC has also put together advice on the messages to be used to communicate the nutrition labelling changes to consumers. Companies are encouraged to use the following messages to communicate the nutrition labelling changes on product label. These are a result of the provisions of Regulation (EC) No. 1169/2011 on food information to consumers and the UK voluntary Government's front of pack national scheme.

Click on the image below to download the document/PDF.




Allergen labelling

The BRC, in partnership with the FDF, has produced Guidance on Allergen Labelling.

Click on the image below to download the document/PDF.



Addendum


Communication allergen labelling changes to Consumers

The BRC has also put together advice on the messages to be used to communicate the allergen labelling changes to consumers.

Click on the image below to download the document/PDF.




Country of Origin

BRC members have led the way on country of origin labelling and retailers go well beyond the law in both the number of products they provide this information for, as well as the way in which they define ‘origin'. Retailers use country of origin as a point of difference and we believe this competitive, market-based approach has resulted in the clear and unambiguous labelling seen in UK supermarkets today.

Contrary to popular belief, the latest FSA data demonstrates that country of origin labelling, on its own, is not an issue particularly important to consumers. For it to be meaningful, it has to be accompanied by another reason for choosing that product, such as quality or taste.

The BRC believes that this voluntary approach is the best way for country of origin labelling to be developed and we are working in Brussels to ensure the proposed regulations do not result in costly labelling requirements that provide little or no consumer benefit. The market has already allowed for country of origin labelling to be extended beyond the legislation and it is now used on some processed foods, such as ready meals, where that point of difference and assurance of quality is important to consumers. For it to be required on composite foods by law would be hugely costly and there is no evidence to suggest that consumers would find this helpful.

Instead of increasing the types of products where this labelling should be required, the BRC thinks the proposed European Regulation should ensure that when country of origin labelling is provided, it has to be clear and unambiguous exactly what this means.
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