Andrew Opie, food director, British Retail Consortium
Yes. For nearly a decade, BRC members have been leading the way on providing comprehensive nutritional information, including on the front of packs. Their focus is, and should be, on what’s right for customers. It’s good to see the Government now endorsing retailers’ favoured approach. Our members feel there is merit in a common system that, research shows, is helping shoppers make healthier choices. Having consistency from one retailer to another should improve awareness and understanding.
Glenis Willmott MEP, Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party
Yes. I have been campaigning for traffic light food labelling on all processed food for some time so I am delighted. With obesity rates in the UK the highest in Europe, we must help consumers make healthier choices. Standardised, colour-coded nutritional information is easy to understand. However, while UK supermarkets have been willing to adopt the system, manufacturers are more reluctant. We will only convince multinational food companies when there is EU-wide legislation.
Phil Dalton, head of regulatory, Legal Impackt
Yes. The Food Information Regulation allows nutrition information to be repeated on front of pack if it can be proven to be of value to consumers. FIR is all about providing useful information to consumers. The EU Commission has a deadline in December 2017 to publish a report on front of pack schemes across Europe with, perhaps, a legislative proposal. Standardising how front of pack nutrition is presented is an essential first step for the UK to demonstrate the value of its scheme, with a view to adoption across the EU.
Cathy Court, director, Netmums
Yes. Netmums has campaigned for a number of years on various issues relating to healthy family eating and has been a long-term supporter of traffic light labelling. In 2007 over 17,000 Netmums members completed a survey on front of pack labelling choices and the results were overwhelmingly clear: 79% preferred the traffic light scheme over the numbers based Guideline Daily Allowance scheme. They liked the simplicity of the traffic light labelling. It could be used ‘at a glance’ while shopping with babies and children in tow.