Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII), the Ibec group that represents the food industry, today launched a practical industry guide on labelling to help companies comply with the first major overhaul of Europe’s food labelling rules in 30 years.

The guide was launched at a major industry seminar in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin this morning, which was opened by Minister for Food Safety Tom Hayes TD.

The EU’s new Food Information to Consumers Regulation, which replaces the current rules, sets out the requirements for the provision of food information to consumers.

It also sets out new requirements with regard to the provision of nutritional information. The Regulation will apply from 13 December 2014, with the exception of mandatory nutrition declaration, which will apply from 13 December 2016.

Key provisions in the regulation include:

  • Nutritional information on pack will be mandatory
  • Allergens now need to be emphasised in the list of ingredients by means of font, style or background colour
  • Country of origin is now mandatory for meat from sheep, pig, poultry and goats
  • Mandatory information must now be given in a minimum font size.

Speaking at the seminar FDII director Paul Kelly said: “The new labelling legislation will help consumers make more informed choices. It represents a fundamental change in how food businesses communicate with consumers and goes beyond physical food labelling to include other forms of communications such as digital media.

He added: “FDII is working to support its members in the practical application of the new Regulation in areas such as nutrition, origin, ingredients and allergens. The new guide will help food companies comply with the legislation and provide consumers with the comprehensive information they need when buying food.”

In its guide, Prof Alan Reilly, chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, said it welcomes¬†the industry guide. “I believes that it will assist food businesses in achieving compliance with the new rules, with the ultimate objective of providing clear and unambiguous information to the consumer,” he said.

The guide is available here FDII Labelling Guide.

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