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New EU law on food information to consumers

The new EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers changes existing legislation on food labelling including:

  • Mandatory nutrition information on processed foods;
  • Mandatory origin labelling of unprocessed meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry;
  • Highlighting allergens e.g. peanuts or milk in the list of ingredients;
  • Better legibility i.e. minimum size of text;
  • Requirements on information on allergens also cover non pre-packed foods including those sold in restaurants and cafés.

Questions and Answers on the application of the Regulation (EU) N° 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers
BG CS DA DE EL EN ES ET FI FR HR HU IT LT LV MT NL PL PT RO SK SL SV PDF

The new rules will apply from 13 December 2014. The obligation to provide nutrition information will apply from 13 December 2016.

The new law combines 2 Directives into one legislation:

  • 2000/13/EC - labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs;
  • 90/496/EEC - nutrition labelling for foodstuffs.

Actions relating to origin labelling

On 17 December 2013, the Commission adopted a report for the European Parliament and the Council regarding the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for meat used as an ingredient (COM(2013)755) BG CS DA DE EL EN ES ET FI FR HR HU IT LT LV MT NL PL PT RO SK SL SV PDF.

The Commission report is accompanied by a Commission Staff Working Document – "Origin labelling for meat used as an ingredient: consumers' attitude, feasibility of possible scenarios and impacts" (SWD(2013)437), which provides detailed information underpinning the findings of the Commission report.

Both the Commission report and the accompanied Commission Staff Working Document are mainly based on the results of an external study commissioned by DG SANCO by the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC), titled "Study on the application of rules on voluntary origin labelling of foods and on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance of meat used as an ingredient".

Next steps on origin labelling

By 13 December 2013, the Commission must:

  • Adopt implementing acts on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance for unprocessed meat of swine, poultry, sheep and goats after an impact assessment. The Commission has commissioned an external study to do so.
  • Adopt implementing acts on the application of "voluntary origin" labelling of foods after an impact assessment. The Commission has commissioned an external study on the application of rules on "voluntary origin" labelling of foods and on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance of meat used as an ingredient.

By 13 December 2014, the Commission must submit reports to the European Parliament and the Council regarding the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for the following foods:

  • Types of meat other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry;
  • Milk and milk used as an ingredient in dairy products;
  • Unprocessed foods;
  • Single ingredient products;
  • Ingredients that constitute over 50% of a food.

Concerning unprocessed foods, single ingredient products and ingredients that constitute over 50% of a food, the Commission has commissioned an external study.

Background information on the adoption of Regulation 1169/2011


Adoption calendar of Regulation 1169/2011

22 November 2011: Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers published. 27 July 2011: Commission Opinion on the European Parliament's position on the Council's common position. 6 July 2011: European Parliament 2nd reading position on the proposed legislation, agreed with the Council.
"Commissioner Dalli's statement and Q&A on the food information Regulation.
22 February 2011: Commission Communication to the European Parliament on Council's common position 21 February 2011: Council's common position PDF 16 June 2010: European Parliament 1st reading position on the Commission proposal 30 January 2008: Commission proposal

More on the original Commission proposal

 
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