Danone and Nestlé are among nearly 40 stakeholders calling for Nutri-Score to become the mandatory nutrition labelling system across the EU.
The coalition – which includes consumer groups, members of European Parliament, academics, food companies and retailers – have sent a letter to the EU Commission, requesting a legislative proposal to introduce the Nutri-Score EU-wide.
Nutri-Score offers a colour-coded front-of-pack labelling system that classifies food and drinks according to their nutritional profile. It gives a score ranging from A (healthier choices) to E (less healthy choices) to enable consumers to compare the nutritional quality of foods and make healthier choices.
According to The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), nutritional labelling has been identified by both national governments and international health experts as one of the key policy tools which can be used to support consumers to make informed healthier food choices at-a-glance.
At present, Nutri-Score is only applied on a voluntary basis. Last year, Nestlé announced the implementation of the labelling system to its products in Europe and the year before, Danone began to adopt Nutri-Score for its Belgian fresh dairy products.
The call comes before the EU Commission is due to publish its Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims to make the food system sustainable and promote healthy food.
“Nutri-Score helps people make good food choices and motivates food and drink companies to accelerate the development of healthier products,” said Marco Settembri, Nestlé CEO for EMENA.
Settembri added: “Nutri-Score shouldn’t only help Nestlé to raise the bar. We’re inviting the whole industry to join us.”
Monique Goyens, director general of BEUC, said: “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.”
Thomas Gauthier-Lafaye, Europe public affairs director at Danone, added: “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.”
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