On 24 October 2014, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Swiss Confederation) incorporated 68 legal acts into the the “Agreement on the European Economic Area” (EEA), including an EU regulation on the labelling of foodstuffs.
The regulation repeals existing legislation by merging the Directive on the Labelling, Presentation and Advertising of Foodstuffs with the Directive on Nutrition Labelling for Foodstuffs. It also changes existing legislation on food labelling, including:
- Mandatory nutrition information on processed foods;
- Highlighting of allergens such as peanuts or milk in the list of ingredients (requirements also cover non pre-packed foods, including those sold in restaurants and cafés);
- Better legibility, i.e. minimum size of text.
The aim of the regulation is to label foodstuffs in such a way that consumers have easy access to information. In order to make informed choices when buying products, consumers should have essential, legible, and comprehensible information at their disposal. This regulation applies to food business operators at all stages of the food chain. It covers all foodstuffs intended for the end consumer, including those served by mass caterers, or intended for supply to mass caterers.