BBC news today reported that the Government is considering UK food labelling changes. Specifically the “Best before” date requirements are under discussion. The argument being that it can be confusing to customers. They often do not distinguish between “Use by” dates, and “best before”. As we specialise in food label translation, this debate is clearly of interest to Better Languages.

Better Languages comment:

Mike Hunter our CEO had this to say. “As a translation company, our greatest concern with food labelling is EU harmonisation. We welcome any move to improve information for consumers.  However, the EU is making moves towards major legislative changes in food labelling. We feel that the UK government can serve consumers better. They can do this by lobbying for the best possible outcome with new EU wide regulation.”

Current EU thinking appears to favour much more legally required information. In contrast, the UK Government appears to want less. The problem with this, is that it is contrary to the aim of sustainable packaging, and reducing packaging waste. It will also make multilingual packaging much harder to produce.

Conclusions

Our view is that there has to be a better way of providing high quality information to consumers. Specifically a move towards information being available online. This allows more information to be available without the space restrictions of packaging and print costs. This would help the sustainability issue, and allow more and clearer information to be available to consumers.