Practical limits to the consumer s right to know mr mark moss british retail consortium
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PRACTICAL LIMITS TO THE CONSUMER’S RIGHT TO KNOW Mr Mark Moss British Retail Consortium. Issues. Animal welfare Country of origin Allergen cross contamination Additional information on alcoholic beverages. ANIMAL WELFARE LABELLING. Current Legislation / Standards. UK Legislation

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PRACTICAL LIMITS TO THE CONSUMER’S RIGHT TO KNOW Mr Mark Moss British Retail Consortium

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Practical limits to the consumer s right to know mr mark moss british retail consortium

PRACTICAL LIMITS TO THE CONSUMER’S RIGHT TO KNOWMr Mark Moss British Retail Consortium


Issues

Issues

  • Animal welfare

  • Country of origin

  • Allergen cross contamination

  • Additional information on alcoholic beverages


Animal welfare labelling

ANIMAL WELFARE LABELLING


Current legislation standards

Current Legislation / Standards

  • UK Legislation

  • Welfare of Farmed Animals 2000

  • EC Legislation

  • Dir 98/58/EC: Animals Kept for Farming Purposes

  • Dir 99/74/EC: Laying Hens

  • Dir 91/629: Calves

  • Dir 91/630: Pigs

  • Forthcoming Broiler Directive

  • Reg (EC) 2092/91: Organic Production

  • Dir 1538/91/EC: ‘Free Range’ Poultry

  • UK Non Mandatory

  • Welfare Codes approved by Parliament:

    • Laying Hens

    • Meat and Breeding Chickens

    • Ducks

    • Cattle

    • Sheep

    • Pigs

    • Goats

    • Farmed Deer

    • Rabbits

  • ADAS Welfare Advisory Programme for Farmers

  • EC Non Mandatory

  • Treaty of Amsterdam 1997

  • CoE Convention: Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes


Practical limits to the consumer s right to know mr mark moss british retail consortium

  • There are many existing legislative standards for animal welfare

  • Industry has had an active role on developing these standards

  • Industry strongly believes that animal welfare is not a labelling issue and therefore should not be part of this review


Importance of farm animal welfare in general

Importance of Farm Animal Welfare in General

Attitudes of Consumers, Retailers and Producers to Farm Animal Welfare, Welfare Quality Reports No 2. Work conducted in 2005, 1500 consumers from each country


Concern about welfare species specific

Concern About Welfare – Species Specific

% indicated scores of 1 or 2 , where 1 indicates an assumption of very poor welfare

Attitudes of Consumers, Retailers and Producers to Farm Animal Welfare, Welfare Quality Reports No 2. Work conducted in 2005, 1500 consumers from each country


Igd report february 2007

IGD Report February 2007

* % of shoppers indicating this issue as important when shopping for food


What is the aim of welfare standard labelling

What is the Aim of Welfare Standard Labelling?

  • To improve welfare standards across Europe?

    Solution: Check the implementation and enforcement of existing legislation on welfare standards

  • To differentiate EU animal products as having higher welfare standards than non-EU animal products?

    Possible solutions:

    Require all imported animal products to match EU welfare standards (no different for imports to comply with other EU legislation) – This is already widely happening.


What is the aim of welfare standard labelling1

What is the Aim of Welfare standard Labelling?

  • To offer greater consumer transparency and choice?

    Solutions:

    • Broad education process for consumers about EU standards of animal welfare

    • Welfare standards are already labelled on a voluntary basis as a point of difference between food businesses. As such, there is no need to specifically regulate labelling

      More robust consumer research is required across all

      of the EU – the current research is too sporadic to

      derive true consumer opinion.


Country of origin

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN


Current rules

CURRENT RULES

  • WTO agreement – country where the product underwent the last significant transformation

  • EU Directive 2000/13/EC on General Labelling - requires particulars of the place of origin or provenance of the food if failure to given such particulars might mislead a purchaser to a material degree as to the true origin or provenance of the food

  • Certain marketing standards and specific pieces of legislation such as beef labelling, fish and fruit and vegetables require country of origin to be given


Practical limits to the consumer s right to know mr mark moss british retail consortium

  • Many retailers have chosen to provide country of origin on additional fresh meat such as fresh poultry, pork and lamb

  • Some have chosen to provide country of origin on meat products as a point of differentiation and deliberately chosen to restrict sourcing

  • Additional provenance stories to highlight nationality

  • Other retailers with a different demographic customer base have chosen not to provide this additional information


Why change the current practice

Why change the current practice?

  • Legislation already exists to stop customers being misled

  • Is better enforcement the answer not increased labelling?

  • Requiring country of origin declaration is not a solution for making sure that animal welfare

  • Wide scale evidence base is required to justify change – Do consumers want origin information and why?


Igd report february 20071

IGD Report February 2007

* % of shoppers indicating this issue as important when shopping for food


Do consumers want origin declaration

Do consumers want origin declaration?

UK FSA Food Labelling Consumer Research:

What Consumers Want, A Literature Review, March 2007

  • A MAFF report in 2000 considered the ‘Importance and Impact of Country of Origin of Food’. This study included quantitative and qualitative research. When asked directly, more than two thirds (67%) of respondents claimed that Country of Origin Labelling was important to them personally when buying food. However, only 2% spontaneously mentioned Country of Origin when asked about food labelling in general.

  • Research conducted in 28 European counties by OPTEM for DG SANCO reported that Country of Origin labelling was one of a number of categories to which consumers pay special attention. This finding was given the explanation that ‘relatively recent health crises (ESB, SARS, etc.) are still on people’s minds. Apart from the fears linked to this, some countries suffer from a negative image as regards quality and taste, whilst others are valued for specific products. Generally speaking, we also often see the existence of a form of ‘food nationalism’ accompanied by the idea that the agricultural produce and foodstuffs of one’s own country are better, safer and more wholesome than those of neighbouring countries. Finally, some countries’ products can be rejected for political or ethical reasons’.


How practical would any new requirements be

How practical would any new requirements be?

  • Definition of country of origin or last substantial modification

  • Which foods would be in scope

  • How would the declaration be made?

  • As a single country or could a number of countries be used i.e. UK or France

  • What about "Produce of the EU"

  • Will Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland be acceptable or will UK be required?


Manufacturing practicalities

Manufacturing practicalities

  • Even those companies who have chosen to provide additional information do not necessarily limit themselves to one source on composite products

  • If limited to one country of origin may lead to increase food waste

  • If extended to all single ingredient products how will seasonality be dealt with?

  • Not all packaging types are capable of being printed with country of origin at point of filling

  • Additional packaging to cope with season changes will lead to increased cost and potential operational inefficiencies


Allergen cross contamination may contain

Allergen cross contamination‘May contain’


Current legal requirements

Current Legal Requirements

  • Labelling legislation covers deliberate ingredients and not ingredients present through cross-contamination

  • Unsafe food is prohibited from being placed on the market - EC Regulation 178/2002 (General Food Law Regulation)

  • Food which contains allergens can be injurious to health and unsafe. It doesn’t matter that it is only injurious to a small proportion of the population.

  • The food can be made safe through the use of appropriate labelling information


Experience in the uk

Experience in the UK

  • Industry strongly sympathise with desire to provide more choice to allergic consumer

  • FDF and BRC developed best practice guidance on allergen management and consumer information

  • The guidance have been endorsed by FSA

  • They were developed over two years by top experts

  • They encourage a thorough risk assessment to establish the need of risk communication


Progress

PROGRESS

  • The guidance have help reduce risk but have not eliminate it

  • They have not stopped the proliferation of the use of ‘may contain statements’.

  • Feed back from consumers is that the use of these statements is not useful


Conclusion

CONCLUSION

  • Industry feels we should stay away from legislation based on risk assessment:

    • It is difficult to enforce

    • Subjective; different companies will have different perception of risk

      Solution:

  • Concentrate efforts on establish maximum level for all allergens and methods of analysis


Additional information on alcoholic beverages

Additional information on alcoholic beverages


Wine labelling

Wine Labelling

“Wine labels are seen to be very important not due to the information they provide but due to the image they convey of the history, savoir-faire, tradition and quality surrounding the wine, which is essentially a natural and unadulterated product.”

– The European Consumers’ Attitude regarding Product Labelling. Qualitative Study in 28 European Countries. European Commission, May 2005


Alcoholic drinks labelling

Alcoholic drinks Labelling

  • It is questionable whether the reasonable consumer of alcoholic drinks actually wants additional information on:

    - Ingredient Listing

    - Health warnings

    - Nutrition labelling


Implications

Implications

  • With all the additional information labels may confuse the consumer; they will be difficult to read and will reduce the amount of space available for information which is known to be of real interest to the average consumer.

  • Additional information can be made available off-label

  • There is no evidence to show any consumer demand or interest in additional labelling requirements in alcoholic drinks (with the exemption of alcopops)


Do consumers want additional labelling in alcoholic beverages

Do consumers want additional labelling in alcoholic beverages ?

UK FSA Food Labelling Consumer Research:

What Consumers Want, A Literature Review, March 2007

  • Academic articles• referred to in a book relied upon in an Irish document published in 2002 conclude that there is ‘little evidence that alcohol warning labels have measurable effects on drinking behaviours’

  • Labelling research conducted by OPTEM for DG SANCO in 28 European countries, reported that concerning the labelling of the composition of beer, ‘The consumer does not tend to look for this information, apart perhaps from some basic information as to the type of beer (lager or ale, etc.) and the alcoholic content’. Similar conclusions were drawn in respect of the composition labelling of wine, where it was reported that ‘depending on the individual and country, participants tend to look for factual information on wine labels regarding variety of vine or region, in some cases the alcoholic content and an indication of whether the wine is dry or sweet (in central Europe)’ (29).


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