The European Commission recently published its long-awaited front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labeling report, which provides a landscape overview of the various approaches to nutrition labeling 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 labeling on consumers, businesses and on the single market.
“FoodDrinkEurope welcomes the Commission’s intention to use the momentum to develop a clear political roadmap towards a single harmonized FOP nutrition labeling scheme in the EU, which should have the backing of all Member States and stakeholders. The report shows that a variety of approaches to FOP nutrition labeling 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, harmonized voluntary FOP nutrition labeling system in the EU,” said FoodDrinkEurope Deputy Director General Dirk Jacobs.
The organization that represents Europe’s food and drink industry calls 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 labeling 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 labeling in 2005 through the introduction of Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA), now “Reference Intakes”, which to date remains the only pan-European scheme in use.