Stakeholders call on EU Commission to introduce mandatory Nutri-Score labelling
The call comes before the EU Commission is due to publish its Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims to make the food system more sustainable and healthy.
Almost 40 stakeholders from across the spectrum – including consumer groups, policy makers, academics, food companies and retailers – have called for the nutrition label Nutri-Score to become mandatory in the EU. This colour-coded front-of-pack nutritional label is said to be instrumental to support consumers in making healthier food choices.
The stakeholders have sent a joint letter to the EU Commission, in which they ask for a legislative proposal to introduce the Nutri-Score EU-wide.
While it is imperative to combat the immediate threats posed by COVID-19, the stakeholders argued that EU policymakers must also address long-term health risks related to unbalanced diets and malnutrition.
“As rates of overweight and obesity remain worryingly high in the EU, it is essential we better equip consumers with tools such as the Nutri-Score to help them to compare products and make healthier choices in the supermarket,” said Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC).
“Evidence from research conducted in several countries shows that Nutri-Score is the easiest label to understand and the best-performing scheme in aiding consumers to compare the nutritional value of foods across a range of products. And the results are concrete: it really makes consumers’ shopping baskets healthier! This is why we need Nutri-Score on all food in the EU,” added Ivo Mechels, CEO Euroconsumers (Test Achats (BE), Altroconsumo (IT), Deco Proteste (PT) & OCU (ES)).
Thomas Gauthier-Lafaye, Europe Public Affairs Director, Danone, commented: “At Danone, we actively promote healthier eating and drinking habits. No system is perfect, but we see Nutri-Score as the best scheme today for people to compare products’ nutritional quality at a glance, also within a category. We therefore support the call to make this colour-coded and front-of pack nutritional label mandatory across the EU.”
“We started our reformulation journey 20 years ago to make our products healthier. Nutri-Score now offers a clear standard that helps move even faster. For example, 16 percent of our breakfast cereals in France scored ‘A’ or ‘B’ in 2019. Our ambition is that more than 50 percent of our breakfast cereals in France are ‘A’ or ‘B’ by end of 2021,” noted Bart Vandewaetere, Head of Corporate Communications and Government Relations for Nestlé Zone EMENA.