The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has published new guidance to ensure consumers are not misled by the use of marketing terms on food, by assisting in the responsible use of terms by food manufacturers, retailers and food service businesses.
The guidance follows a public consultation carried out by a working group that included FSAI and the FSAI’s Artisan Forum, alongside Food and Drink Industry Ireland and the Consumers’ Association of Ireland.
The FSAI has outlined the general legal requirements that food businesses must follow when using marketing terms on food, while also providing guidance for the use of marketing terms to describe foods such as ‘artisan’, ‘traditional’ and ‘natural’.
Dr Wayne Anderson, Director of Food Science and Standards, FSAI explained that the new guidance goes a long way in ensuring that marketing terms are not used incorrectly to mislead consumers.
He added, “Consumers need to be confident that the foods they purchase and consume are accurately and truthfully described on the label.
“Food businesses should also be confident that genuine descriptions of their food are not diluted in the marketplace by undefined marketing terms.”
Minister of State for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Maine welcomed the guidelines, saying that, “Consumers will now know what to expect when they see food or drink products labelled as ‘artisan/artisanal’, ‘farmhouse’, ‘traditional’ or ‘natural’.
“The guidance also offers producers reputational assurance and an opportunity to secure recognition, value and markets for food and drink products meeting these criteria.”
The FSAI says food businesses should aim to ensure marketing terms used on foods are compliant with relevant legislation and information contained in the guidance as soon as possible.
It adds that, as a minimum, the information in the guidance applies to the labels of foods placed on the market and/or presented and advertised after December 2016.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.