Revision of Food Standards Agency Guidance: Criteria for the use of the terms fresh, pure, natural etc. in food labelling (Scotland)
Thursday 1 November 2007
The Agency issued guidance on the use of marketing terms in 2002 and is now seeking to issue improved guidance by making the changes set out in this consultation. The guidance sets out legislative requirements relevant to misleading labelling, as well as best practice advice on the use of the terms.
All comments and views should be sent to:
Food Standards, Diet & Nutrition Branch
Food Standards Agency Scotland
St. Magnus House
25 Guild Street
Aberdeen AB11 6NJ
Tel: 01224 285165
Fax: 01224 285168
Responses are requested by: 22 January 2008
The aims in producing this advice on use of these terms are:
- to help manufacturers, producers, retailers and caterers decide when these descriptions may be used and when they should not
- for enforcement authorities to challenge inappropriate uses
- to benefit consumers, by encouraging the adoption of consistent, transparent labelling practices
Since the first issue in 2002, consumer understanding of some terms may have shifted and new terms have come into use. Some existing terms are being used in new ways. In line with the need to review policy and take account of these changes the 2002 guidance requires updating. Specifically, the objectives of the revision are to:
- make the voluntary, best practice advice clearer, and distinct from the legal requirements
- alter the guidance on the use of some of the existing terms to take account of results of research into consumer expectations. The research supports some of the existing advice and identifies amendments that are needed for the terms traditional, original, authentic/real/genuine and home-made
- include advice on the use of the following new terms that have come into use: farmhouse pâté, handmade, quality, selected, premium, finest and best
- provide revised advice on some existing terms to take account of issues that have arisen in the consumer research, or where advice has been requested from the Agency, or where further information on industry practices has come to light, specifically for fresh, natural, pure, farmhouse and traditional
- advise against the use of some terms that can cause confusion
These changes to the guidance will provide improved best practice advice for industry that should result in more informative labelling that is helpful and meaningful to consumers.
This consultation has been prepared in accordance with the HM Government Code of Practice on Consultation, which states that a consultation must follow better regulation best practice, including carrying out an Impact Assessment (Regulatory Impact Assessment in Scotland). The assessment is included in the consultation documents.
We are interested in what you thought of this consultation and would therefore welcome your general feedback on both the consultation package and overall consultation process. If you would like to assist us to improve the quality of future consultations, please feel free to share your thoughts with us by using the consultation feedback questionnaire.
Publication of personal data and confidentiality of responses
In accordance with the FSA principle of openness our Information Centre at Aviation House will hold a copy of the completed consultation. Responses will be open to public access upon request. The FSA will also publish a summary of responses, which may include personal data, such as your full name and contact address details. If you do not want this information to be released, please complete and return the Publication of Personal Data Form. Return of this form does not mean that we will treat your response to the consultation as confidential, just your personal data.
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Publication of response summary
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If, after three months, the summary is still not showing, please contact the person who was responsible for the original consultation. Alternatively, you can contact the FSA Consultation Co-ordinator by email: email@example.com