We have experience in the assessment of food labels, and we regularly advise food business operators on questions of compliance and practical application of Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, category specific aspects, and the national rules complementing this framework
The EU constantly strengthens the rules on the provision of food information to consumers, with the aim of preventing misleading practices and that consumers are guaranteed their right to information. This objective needs to be compatible with the free movement of safe and wholesome foods, which is an essential aspect of the internal market.
The EU has recently adopted Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011, ensuring an EU harmonised approach to the provision of food information to consumers. These Regulations affect all aspects of food labelling, such as the legibility of information, rules regarding the presentation of allergens for prepacked foods and non-prepacked food, and detailed provisions regarding the nutrition declaration. These labelling requirements are equally applicable to online sales, distance-selling or shops.
Since Regulation 1169/2011 is applied since December 2014, the Member States are now beginning to interpret these rules. The Commission has offered Guidance to ensure the interpretation of some aspects of the rules is homogenous.
However, Member States may still apply their own regulations to other important aspects of labelling, such as some aspects of labelling for non-prepacked foods, or clean labelling statements such as “natural” or “GMO-free”.
In addition, different products such as food supplements, functional foods, meal replacements, energy drinks or fruit juices need to comply with the specific framework applicable to those types of products.