Food labelling and advertising:Practical implications of currentdevelopmentsGillian Harkess, Associate14 September 2012
Current DevelopmentsDuring this seminar we will consider:• EU Food Information Regulation – update on implementation by food businesses and the European Commission• UK Department of Health push to agree a UK front-of-pack nutrition labelling format• The Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation – outstanding health claim applications, additional permitted nutrition claims, the latest on nutrient profiles
EU Food Information Regulation• The Food Information for Consumers Regulation (FIR) follows an EU-wide review of food and nutrition labelling legislation• FIR brings EU rules on general and nutrition labelling together into a single regulation• Single Europe-wide regulation rather than state- by-state implementation• Transitional arrangements mean that most requirements do not apply until 2014 and new nutrition labelling rules will become mandatory in 2016.
The Food Information RegulationWhat is changing?• Minimum font size for • Extension of rules for mandatory origin of food labelling information • Food authenticity• Nutrition labelling • Distance selling• Mandatory information on • Alcohol allergens
Requirements for mandatoryinformationWhat is mandatory information? Article 9• The name of the food• The list of ingredients (extended)• Allergens / intolerances from a prescribed list (eg wheat, eggs, mustard, milk etc).• Quantity of certain ingredients• The net quantity of the food• Date of minimum durability or use by date• Any special storage conditions / conditions of use
Requirements for mandatoryinformationMandatory information cont …• Name / business name and address of the food business operator• Country of origin / provenance• Instructions for use• The actual alcoholic strength by volume (beverages containing more than 1.2%)• A nutrition declaration
Requirements for mandatoryinformationArticle 13• Mandatory food information must be: – marked in a conspicuous place – easily visible, clearly legible – cannot be hidden, obscured, detracted from or interrupted by any other written or pictorial matter or any other intervening material• Same field of vision now required for – name and description – net quantity – alcoholic content – NOT now required for „best before‟ or „use by‟ date or signpost
Requirements for mandatoryinformationPresentation - minimum font size• Standard rule - any lower case characters must be equal to or greater than 1.2mm• Largest surface area is less than 80 cm squared the minimum lower case height must be equal to or greater than 0.9mm• Exemptions – glass bottles – small items (largest surface area is less than 10 cm squared – only name, allergens, net quantity and use by date need appear. What about the remaining information?)
New information to be given with the name of thefood• Existing requirements remain – eg “with sweetener”, “irradiated”• New requirements – “defrosted” – if has been frozen at some prior stage, unless • freezing a technologically necessary step in production • defrosting has no negative impact on safety or quality • only an ingredient – a substituted ingredient, „where consumers expect an ingredient to be used‟ • clear indication of the substituted ingredient in print at least 75% of font size of name – products that look like pieces of meat if >5% added water: “contains added water” or similar – meat and fish products made from pieces which look like single items: “formed meat”, “aus Fleischstueken zusammengefuegt” etc. – Caffeine • beverages other than tea or coffee with >150 mg/l “High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast-feeding women. Caffeine [ ] mg per 100ml” • non-beverages to which caffeine added for physiological purposes “Contains caffeine. Not recommended for children or pregnant women. Caffeine [ ] mg per 100 g/ml”
Mandatory nutrition labellingRequirements• „Back of pack information will become mandatory on the majority of prepacked foods.• The nutrition declaration will include: – energy value and – the amount of fat, saturates, carbohydrate, sugars, protein and salt• Per 100g/ml, but options to add (or sometimes substitute) per portion• Information to be presented in tabular format where possible• Exemptions
Nutrition labelling• It will be possible to voluntarily repeat on „front of pack‟ information on nutrients of importance to public health: – energy – energy, fat, saturates, sugar and salt• It will also be possible to provide voluntary nutrition information in the front of pack format on food sold loose (eg on deli counters) and in catering establishments.• There remains scope for businesses to use Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) based on reference intakes specified in the regulations and (subject to certain conditions) additional forms of expression and presentation.
Mandatory country of origin / place of provenance labelling Requirements• Mandatory if failure to indicate would mislead• Extension of the rules for origin of food labelling – fresh, chilled or frozen meat from pigs, sheep, goat and poultry• If the country of origin of primary ingredient differs then: – country of origin of the primary ingredient shall also be given or – country of origin shall be indicated as being different to that of the food• Implementing rules to be produced within two years of the Regulation‟s entry into force.
Mandatory country of origin/ place ofprovenance labellingPossible future changes• Country of origin labelling could be extended in the future (eg to milk, milk used as an ingredient in dairy products, unprocessed foods, other meats)• Commission to complete an impact assessment
Mandatory allergen informationRequirements• Allergens – includes any ingredient or processing aid specifically listed in the Regulation (eg wheat, eggs, fish, milk etc) – the typeset should clearly distinguish the wording and be set out in the list of ingredients – not required where the name of the food clearly refers to the substance or product concerned
Food authenticityRequirements• Food authenticity: – Ban on saying a product does not contain an ingredient if that kind of product never does – eg fat in wine gums – Ingredient substitution made clear on packaging – Added water and protein made clear on meat and fish products
Timetable for Implementation• The labelling requirements will come into effect in 2014• The obligations for nutrition labelling will not apply until 2016• When will EU and/or national authorities give guidance?• Implementing legislation in UK• Impact on all labels in the end, but in particular consider – labelling redesign and product relaunch projects – new product development
Issues• Supply of raw materials change regularly• Cost and practicality of changing labelling and packaging• Restrictions on trade• Food costs increase as flexibility diminishes?• Increased bureaucracy for business?• Are consumers benefiting?• Difficult to enforce
Consultation on Front of Pack nutritionlabelling• Government‟s 12 week consultation on Front of Pack nutrition labelling ended in August 2012.• The ultimate aim of the consultation was to seek views on how to bring more consistency and clarity to the FoP information presented across the UK• The consultation looked at how: – to maintain and extend the use of front of pack labelling across the widest possible range of food and drink products – to achieve the greatest possible consistency in the content and presentation of front of pack nutrition labelling, in a form which is clearest and most useful to consumers
The Department of Health push toagree a UK FOP nutrition labellingformat• Strong evidence on value put forward• Consistency message pushed during consultation
Additional Forms of Expression (AFE)• Possible to express the nutrition information in different ways to just words and numbers.• Must satisfy a number of requirements, such as: – they are based on sound and scientifically valid consumer research – their development is the result of consultation with a wide range of stakeholders – they aim to facilitate consumer understanding• Government able to recommend one or more AFE• Member States must monitor the use of AFE in their territory and report these to the Commission• The Commission will write a report, with the potential for future harmonisation of AFE across the EU, by end 2017
Nutrition labelling issues• As sold or as consumed• Energy or energy + 4• Per 100g or per portion ( portion size)• GDAs?• AFEs?• Position on pack• Logos and Europe• FIR and „pings‟.
Client experience• Experience in the field• Article 30• Nothing that says that the FOP must be a repeat of the method of expression used on the back
Next steps• What to look out for in the up coming months...• Consultation summary published• Government announces next steps
Nutrition and Health claims• In December 2006 EU decision makers adopted Regulation 1924/2006• It provides harmonised EU-wide rules for the use of health or nutritional claims on foodstuffs based on nutrient profiles.• Nutrient profiles are nutritional requirements that foods must meet in order to bear nutrition and health claims.• One of the key objectives of the Regulation is to ensure that any claim made on a food label in the EU is clear and substantiated by scientific evidence.
The role of the European Food SafetyAuthority (EFSA)• EFSA is responsible for verifying the scientific substantiation of the submitted claims, some of which are currently in use, some of which are proposed by applicants – companies who want to submit claims for authorisation in the EU. This information serves as a basis for the European Commission and Member States, which will then decide whether to authorise the claims.• EFSA has prepared guidance on how to submit claims applications, following an extensive consultation process with industry and other interested parties
Nutrition v health claims• An increasing number of foods sold in the EU bear nutrition and health claims.• A nutrition claim states or suggests that a food has beneficial nutritional properties, such as “low fat”, “no added sugar” and “high in fibre”.• A health claim is any statement on labels, advertising or other marketing products that health benefits can result from consuming a given food, for instance that a food can help reinforce the body‟s natural defences or enhance learning ability.
EFSA list of approved health claims• Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 – Deals with the applications made for the “generic list” – with the exception of botanicals and few outstanding applications• 3 claims lists were adopted on the EU register: 1. Permitted nutrition claims 2. Authorised Health Claims 3. Non Authorised Health Claims
EU reaches a botanical health claimscross roads• Botanical health claims – what are they?• The food/medicine borderline• “Traditional use” and surrounding issues
Discussion paper on botanicalsused in foods• Commission sought Member States‟ views in August 2012• Working group meeting to be held in September (date unconfirmed)
What you need to know• 6 month transition period• ALL stock on the shelf must comply by the 14th December 2012?• UK Department of Health is expected to issue guidance
Trends in the field• Leading retailers already refusing to accept non compliant stock.• Retailers passing liability to manufacturers if they provide stock not compliant with the claims after August 2012
Looking ahead• Anticipate future changes to the approved claims• Certain claims require further assessment• Claims that refer to a botanical substance• 6 month transition period likely to apply to any further changes