Food labelling uncertainty rises ahead of EU deadline

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Campden bri, Food, Food and drink federation’s food law & labelling committee

Don't miss the free advice about the EU's new mandatory food labelling rules on offer at our webinar at 11am on Thursday February 20
Don't miss the free advice about the EU's new mandatory food labelling rules on offer at our webinar at 11am on Thursday February 20
Uncertainty about how to comply with the EU’s new food labelling legislation – due for enforcement on December 13 2014 – plus complaints about the lack of clarity concerning the rules, is continuing to mount, according to industry experts.

Campden BRI reports a growing number of enquiries from food and drink manufacturers , clamouring for more information to ensure their businesses comply with the mandatory label changes ahead of the December deadline.

“We are now in the last year of transition and there are still outstanding issues yet to be decided,” ​Steve Spice, head of Campden BRI’s regulatory affairs, told FoodManufacture.co.uk. “This is causing uncertainty for some businesses, particularly small and medium sized ones and we are getting increasing inquiries from our members.”

‘Causing uncertainty for some businesses’

Spice will be joining speakers from Premier Foods, the Trading Standards Institute and law firm DWF to explain how managers should be preparing for the new rules in a free-to-attend, online seminar​ at 11am GMT on Thursday February 20. See more details below.

Meanwhile, technical support company FoodChain Europe, criticises the UK government’s failure to deliver its notes on how FIR changes will be enforced.

“We don’t know how the rules are going to be enforced,”​ Stuart Shotton, its consultancy services director, told our sister publication Food Manufacture for its feature on the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (FIR). “We are using our own interpretation of the EU rules and if the guidance contradicts this, then what does that mean?”

Guidance notes on enforcement were supposed to be released in summer last year, “but we’ve heard nothing”, ​he added.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) agreed vital guidance was late in arriving. “Guidance should have been issued in spring/summer last year,”​ said BRC’s Andrea Martinez-Inchausti. “But our understanding is that it is likely to be ​[issued] around March/April this year, at the same time as the national legislation.”

Discussions about FIR enforcement

But discussions about FIR enforcement have been taking place with the Food Safety Authority, local authority officers and industry representatives, said a spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

“We produced draft guidance in November last year and have asked all concerned for their comments on our draft,”​ he said. “We want our guidance to be helpful to enforcement officers and relevant to the modern day food manufacturing industry.”

To help food and drink manufacturers prepare for the new mandatory rules, the Food Manufacture Group is staging  a free, one-hour webinar in association with law firm DWF. Taking part in the online seminar  – Food Information to Consumers Regulation: what you need to know  –  will be representatives from Premier Foods, Campden BRI, Trading Standards and event sponsor food law firm DWF.

The line-up will be:

 •Alasdair Tucker​, head of regulatory affairs at Premier Foods and chairman of the Food and Drink Federation’s Food Law & Labelling Committee, on how one of Britain’s largest food manufacturers is preparing for the changes enshrined in the Food Information Regulation.

Steve Spice​, head of regulatory affairs at Campden BRI, on how food and drink businesses should be preparing to comply with the new leglislation.

Corinne Lowe​, joint lead officer food and nutrition, Trading Standards Institute on the impact of the new rules and how they are likely to be policed.

Dominic Watkins​, partner and head of food group DWF, on the legal framework surrounding the new legislation.

Reserve your free place at this one-hour webinar here​. There is no limit on the number of registrations. Once registered, you can listen at a later date to the webinar.

There will be an opportunity to put a question to our expert panel – either during the webinar, using your computer, or by emailing it in advance to Michael.stones@wrbm.com​.

Read Food Manufacture's​ feature on FIR here​.

Related topics: Legal

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