Do you remember them? The blue and green tick marks on food packaging. These symbols have been in use since 2006 to help consumers choose healthier products. The party was over after 10 years: the tick marks were about to disappear gradually from the shelves. Products can no longer be produced with the tick marks after 18 October of this year. The aim of the tick marks remains just as relevant. Consumers can still use a helping hand to make a responsible choice, as is clear from a survey by the Consumentenbond (Dutch Consumers' Association) earlier this year, showing that consumers truly appreciate a logo that incorporates traffic light colours, like the French Nutri-score. There are similar initiatives ongoing in other Member States too, like the keyhole system in Sweden and the traffic light system in the UK.
It’s not easy to introduce a logo of this type. This is because communications on the benefits of foods are subject to strict conditions in terms of the European Claims Regulation. There has been intense debate on the matter at a European level this year. The European Commission is calling for a collective European approach, despite a range of divergent initiatives in different Member States. A report will be issued at the end of this year containing the most significant conclusions'
France, in the meantime, is in pioneering spirit: Nutri-score
has been in use for a year now. This summer, Belgium joined them
and a third country, Spain, embraced it in mid-November. The
Netherlands and other EU countries may well follow soon.
I expect that the Netherlands will await the report from the European Commission before it jumps in.
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