Changes to food law and Brexit
The vast majority of the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (No 1169/2011) came into force on 13 December 2014. The exception was the mandatory requirement to indicate a nutrition declaration on the label, which came into force earlier this week.
What does this change mean?
This means that in addition to other mandatory information that must be indicated on the label of food (such as the name of the food, quantity, list of ingredients etc), a nutrition declaration must now be included.
This should include details regarding:
- Energy value; and
- The amounts of fat, saturates, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt.
Who does the requirement apply to?
The requirement to provide a nutrition declaration will apply to most pre-packed food which is intended for supply to the final consumer or to mass caterers (there are some exceptions to the requirement, including food supplements, natural mineral waters and some other products).
What should you being doing to ensure compliance?
Many businesses chose to voluntarily comply with the requirement ahead of its entry into force, therefore it may be that no further action is necessary. However, if this is not the case, then you will need to start thinking about analysing products' nutrient information and updating labels to ensure that they are compliant with the legal requirements.
Food placed on the market or labelled prior to 13 December 2016 which does not comply with the requirement may be marketed until the stocks of the food are exhausted. After that, labels will need to be compliant.
We are working with government and clients to identify, address and exploit the risks and opportunities arising as a result of the UK's vote to leave the EU. For example, there are contractual changes which can be made now to help minimise the costs of uncertainty and there are regulatory opportunities.
How can we help?
We are experts in food law issues and have worked with a number of food and beverage clients to help them conduct business. If you require any advice or assistance in this (or any other) respect, please do not hesitate to contact us.