Food Law News - UK - 2012

DoH Letter, 14 May 2012

LABELLING - Consultation on Front of Pack Nutrition Labelling

A copy of the consultation document is available on this site. See: Consultation - Front of Pack Nutrition Labelling

The Governments across the UK are committed to the provision of nutritional information in a way that best helps consumers make better informed food choices, thus helping them improve their health, guard against risks such as obesity and conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

Everyone can play a part in preventing obesity and lessening the risks of some chronic conditions whether as individuals or as organisations, by minimising those things we do that contribute to weight gain and maximising those that help us eat fewer calories and be more active.

Maximising the effectiveness of front of pack (FoP) labelling by building on the current high level of voluntary use across the UK is an important element in achieving this. Research indicates that consistency of FoP information, both in terms of presentation and positioning on foodpacks, and its use on as many food products as possible would maximise the impact of FoP labelling and improve consumers’ ability to choose healthier foods.1

Any future approach to improving consistency in FoP labelling will have to take into account the new legal framework set out in the EU Provision of Food Information to Consumers2 Regulation as well as research into consumers’ understanding and use of FoP Information.

The Governments across the UK are calling upon the food industry and other partners to look beyond familiar positions and to work together to reach a wide-ranging agreement on the way forward with FoP nutrition labelling that will better serve the citizens and consumers of our countries.

The Department of Health (DH) is seeking views from partners and interested parties in England as part of a UK-wide consultation on FoP nutrition labelling with the ultimate aim of bringing more consistency and clarity to the FoP information presented across the UK.

The provision of clear, consistent information to underpin informed, healthy dietary choices is a key strand in the approaches being taken by all four Governments across the UK to tackle the prevention of obesity and lessen the risks of those conditions most affected by poor diets. Your responses to the questions set out in this consultation will inform discussions on how the shared objective of increasing consumer awareness, understanding and use of FoP nutrition labelling can best be achieved. We would welcome your contribution

Next Steps

The consultation will run from Monday 14 May until Monday 6th August 2012. Responses can be made in several ways – see copy of the consultation for further details (email, postal and telephone query details differ between each of the four countries across the UK).

Throughout the consultation, Andrew Lansley will host a series of high-level discussions with the major retailers and stakeholders to inform discussions. Ministers across the UK will take the responses from the consultation into account when agreeing on a way forward at its conclusion.

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