Labelling expertise

Government-funded studies demonstrate our labelling expertise

Campden BRI case study

Commissions from Government departments underline Campden BRI's reputation as the UK's leading centre of expertise on food labelling, and the partner of choice for both innovative research and commercially relevant services.

In January 2010 the Food Standards Agency published our report assessing the extent to which its guidance on Country of Origin Labelling was being followed – findings that were discussed at an FSA board meeting which was webcast on 26 January 2010. Following the report, the FSA has said that it will continue to encourage further uptake of its guidance, and that the findings would also inform its discussions on the development of new EU rules that require such ingredient origin statements to be provided. Further FSA–funded work, this time on labelling on small packs, has provided important evidence to support the case for appropriate pack–sized based exemptions from new EU food labelling rules.

In 2008 we were commissioned by the Department of Health to survey alcoholic drink labels to assess industry adherence to its voluntary labelling guidelines. The findings suggested that only a few products were labelled completely in accordance with its recommendations. In 2009, following discussions with industry, we were asked to do a repeat study, the findings of which were published in February 2010. The findings have prompted the Government to propose legislation or improved self regulation as possible ways of increasing uptake.

We have also recently carried out work for Defra, which has shown that, whilst most label changes are driven by commercial considerations rather than legislation, the full costs of changing a label are much higher than previously thought.

John Hammond, Head of Information and Legislation, commented: "The decisions of three major UK Government departments with food and drink labelling interests to commission these studies with us shows that we are widely recognised as having the expertise, resources, credibility and independence to carry out complex, innovative and multi disciplinary work of this kind. Although in these cases the results provide a strong evidence base for public policy makers, our skills are equally applicable in the private sector. We have, for example, successfully carried out systematic reviews of hundreds of labels within wide-ranging product portfolios, audited the processes by which companies develop their labels, and completely rewritten or updated company labelling policies."

John Hammond
+44(0)1386 842138

Labelling expertise

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