Spirits producers to add calories and ingredients to labels

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SpiritsEUROPE, the trade association which represents the producers of spirit drinks in Europe, has signed a voluntary Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which the sector commits to provide calorie information on spirits labels together with full ingredient listing and detailed product-specific information online.

The plan will see one in four bottles placed on the EU market to include energy information on-label by the end of 2020 – a share that is set to rise to 50% and 66% by the end of 2021 and 2022 respectively.

For online ingredient listing, the sector will go above and beyond existing legislative obligations, committing to indicate raw materials for all mono raw material spirits categories and vodka.

Following a long and intense period of negotiations over the past 14 months, conducted under the direction and auspices of EU commissioner for health & food safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis in the European Commission, the MoU’s aim is to put forward a transparent and ambitious self-regulatory approach that takes into account consumer information needs as well as sector-specific aspects and the existing legal framework.

Several company members and trade association members signed individually alongside spiritsEUROPE. They will work with the Commission to monitor the impact and effectiveness of the MoU.

“We are proud about the unique and pioneering commitment signed today by the European spirit producers which will provide consumers with the information they are looking for”, said Christian Porta, president of spiritsEUROPE.

“Calorie information will appear on the bottles and we’ll keep developing comprehensive ingredients and nutritional information through easy-to-use online tools for our customers so they are further empowered to make informed and responsible choice”, he added. “The text agreed today provides European distillers with the necessary clarity and guidance to implement the agreed rules within a highly ambitious timeline,” he concluded.

Commissioner Andriukaitis said: “We live in a time where consumers increasingly want to be better informed about what they eat and drink so they can make healthier choices. I am therefore pleased that today the spirits sector makes a leap forward providing Europeans with that very possibility.

“I understand that many companies and associations had to get around the table to come up with the plan that is being presented. I congratulate the sector for these efforts and call on all producers to implement the MoU’s provisions along the agreed parameters and timeline.”

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