Food Information to Consumers Regulation

Policy Position

Food labelling is an important means of providing essential information to consumers on the composition of products and the methods of storage and preparation etc. and identifying the manufacturer or other responsible business. The amount of information required by law to be given on food labels should be kept to essential requirements. Additional information can also be provided voluntarily, on-label or by other means such as consumer leaflets, company websites and customer care lines.

FDF welcomed the new Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers which consolidated and updated two areas of labelling legislation – general food and nutrition labelling - into a single text. This has made it easier to understand and apply the labelling rules in a way that is consistent across the European Union.

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Background

Food labelling is an area of EU legislative competence and Member States are generally prohibited from imposing more detailed requirements (e.g. on origin labelling or nutrition labelling).

The new Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers entered into force on 13 December 2011.It consolidated and updated two areas of labelling legislation - into a single text:

Directive 2000/13/EC on general food labelling.

Directive 90/496/EEC on nutrition labelling.

It also introduced a number of new requirements including:

  • a minimum font size for mandatory information
  • mandatory back-of-pack nutrition labelling;
  • an extension to the rules for the origin labelling for fresh meat of pork, lamb and poultry
  • a clearer indication of allergens in the ingredient list
  • indication of the vegetable origin for vegetable oil

The new rules applied from 13 December 2014. The obligation to provide nutrition information will apply from 13 December 2016 for manufacturers who have yet to introduce nutrition labelling on their products whereas manufacturers who already provide nutrition information must have complied with the new rules from December 2014.

FDE and Eurocomerce have prepared joint guidance on the EU FIC. This should be read in conjunction with the EU FIC and the EC Q and A.

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Last reviewed: 06 May 2016