Food labelling changes under way

Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII) are today hosting an agri-food labelling seminar in Citywest Hotel, Saggart, Dublin.

The event has being organised in view of the introduction next December of new European regulations on the provision of food information to consumers will come into effect.

The FDII says the regulations will require all food business operators to make changes to nearly all current labels.

It says changes will have to be made in a number of areas including origin labelling, the identification of ingredients, allergens, nutrition information and text size.

According to the FDII, it is expected many retailers will ask their suppliers to make the necessary changes in advance of the December 2014 deadline.

Today’s seminar which the FDII are organising is designed to provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of their responsibilities under the new legislation. The FDII says that attendees will be brought through the key provisions and instructed accordingly by the Food Safety Authority and the Department of Agriculture.

Opening the event this morning Tom Hayes, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture noted: “The cornerstone of Ireland’s international reputation as a clean, green food island is the sustainable production of quality food to the highest standards of traceability and safety.

“Safety of the food chain can never be taken for granted as food production techniques and technology continue to evolve, with new processes rapidly emerging and new products being brought to market.”

On the new legislation the minister remarked that these regulations are a response to consumer demand.

While acknowledging that changes in labelling requirements may be somewhat burdensome on the industry, the minister emphasised that compliance is in the interest of the agri-food industry in Ireland.

Topics being covered at today’s conference include origin labelling, nutrition labelling, the European perspective, UK developments including hybrid labelling and distance selling.

Also speaking at the conference today will be representatives of the Department Agriculture, the Food Safety Authority, Food Drink Europe and Brandbank.

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