Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Industry calls for Nutri-Score to be mandatory in Europe

The nutrition label Nutri-Score should become mandatory on all foods in the EU, a group of food and drink stakeholders including Danone and Nestlé has said.

In a joint letter, almost 40 stakeholders, made of consumer groups, policy makers, academics, food companies and retailers, have asked for a legislative proposal to introduce the Nutri-Score EU-wide.

This colour-coded front-of-pack nutritional label is instrumental to support consumers in making healthier food choices, the stakeholders say.

This broad call comes before the EU Commission is due to publish its Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims to make the food system sustainable. As the Strategy also aims to promote healthy food for all, we expect the EU executive to propose an EU-wide front-of-pack nutritional label.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the health of EU citizens is more important than ever. While it is imperative to combat the immediate threats posed by the virus, the stakeholders say, EU policymakers must also address long-term health risks related to unbalanced diets and malnutrition.

“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,” said Thomas Gauthier-Lafaye, Europe Public Affairs Director at Danone.

“We therefore support the call to make this color-coded and front-of pack nutritional label mandatory across the EU.”

Bart Vandewaetere, Head of Corporate Communications and Government Relations for Nestlé Zone EMENA, said: “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% of our breakfast cereals in France scored ‘A’ or ‘B’ in 2019.

“Our ambition is that more than 50% of our breakfast cereals in France are ‘A’ or ‘B’ by end of 2021.”

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