` Supporters of Nutri-Score Organize to Promote Its Adoption - Olive Oil Times

Supporters of Nutri-Score Organize to Promote Its Adoption

Feb. 17, 2021
Paolo DeAndreis

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Seven coun­tries, includ­ing the two largest economies in the European Union, have come together to pro­mote the adop­tion of Nutri-Score.

Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland and France announced that they would form an intra-European com­mit­tee to facil­i­tate debate on the French front-of-pack label­ing sys­tem (FOPL) and bring about a smooth tran­si­tion to one uni­form food label­ing sys­tem in the bloc.

Its objec­tive is to facil­i­tate the use of Nutri-Score by man­u­fac­tur­ers in the food sec­tor, to help small busi­nesses and to liaise with con­sumers, by imple­ment­ing com­mon and effi­cient pro­ce­dures.- Transnational Coordination Mechanism, 

According to the Luxembourg Chronicle, the Transnational Coordination Mechanism includes both a steer­ing com­mit­tee and a sci­en­tific branch.

The steer­ing com­mit­tee includes all the rel­e­vant local author­i­ties focused on Nutri-Score in the seven coun­tries and will help dis­sem­i­nate the new logo within the food sec­tor, from large retail­ers to small busi­nesses.

See Also: Nutri-Score Updates

Meanwhile, the sci­en­tific branch will focus on pos­si­ble devel­op­ments and imple­men­ta­tions for Nutri-Score.

Its objec­tive is to facil­i­tate the use of Nutri-Score by man­u­fac­tur­ers in the food sec­tor, to help small busi­nesses and to liaise with con­sumers, by imple­ment­ing com­mon and effi­cient pro­ce­dures,” the Transnational Coordination Mechanism said.

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The announce­ment has been cheered by the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), which is among Nutri-Score’s strongest sup­port­ers.

BEUC wel­comes the ini­tia­tive to help a wider num­ber of con­sumers ben­e­fit from the Nutri-Score,” the orga­ni­za­tion said. To date, Nutri-Score has been acknowl­edged as the most effec­tive label to help con­sumers make health­ier choices in the super­mar­ket.”

Despite numer­ous mem­bers of the aca­d­e­mic, pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor unit­ing behind Nutri-Score, the FOPL still faces sig­nif­i­cant oppo­si­tion from some mem­bers of the agri­cul­tural indus­try and their allies in gov­ern­ment.

In Italy, indus­try and insti­tu­tions have been com­bat­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of Nutri-Score since its incep­tion and the guide­lines for the nation-wide imple­men­ta­tion of its com­pet­ing label­ing sys­tem, Nutrinform Battery, have just been pub­lished.

Nutrinform Battery

Opposition to Nutri-Score is also grow­ing in Spain, as the FOPL will be offi­cially intro­duced within weeks.

Many of the country’s olive oil pro­duc­ers and busi­nesses rebuffed the Ministry of Consumption’s recent deci­sion to exempt olive oil from the Nutri-Score labels on their pack­ages.

Two promi­nent pro­ducer orga­ni­za­tions insisted that the French FOPL must be upgraded so that olive oil will not be graded with a Yellow C” on the Nutri-Score healthy food scale.

The Spanish Association of Olive Municipalities (AEMO), which is involved in olive grow­ing, said that the only way to resolve the cur­rent impasse is to reform the FOPL. The orga­ni­za­tion would like extra vir­gin olive oil labeled with a Green A,” which is the best pos­si­ble clas­si­fi­ca­tion in the Nutri-Score scale.

The asso­ci­a­tion said that omit­ting olive oil from the label­ing scheme would cre­ate too much con­fu­sion. AEMO added that with­out reform­ing Nutri-Score to reflect extra vir­gin olive oil’s health ben­e­fits, Spanish exports within the European Union would be severely impacted.

In two cases out of three, [intra‑E.U. exports] are fueled by olive oil’s healthy record,” AEMO said.

A sim­i­lar sen­ti­ment has been echoed by the Spanish pro­duc­ers asso­ci­a­tion QVExtra! International. In a note, the orga­ni­za­tion asked for a review of the Nutri-Score label­ing plat­form so that extra vir­gin olive oil may be labeled with the high­est rat­ing, while non-vir­gin olive oil should be labeled with the Greenish B.”

However, promi­nent pro­po­nents of Nutri-Score, includ­ing Pilar Galan, insist that Nutri-Score allows con­sumers to com­pare foods belong­ing to sim­i­lar cat­e­gories and olive oil has the best pos­si­ble rat­ing in the fats and oils cat­e­gory.

Nutri-Score in no way penal­izes olive oil,” Galan told Olive Oil Times. Olive oil is rated C, which is the best score for added fats, sea­son­ing or cook­ing, and even veg­etable oils. This rank­ing is fully con­sis­tent with pub­lic health rec­om­men­da­tions. In Spain, as else­where, [those rec­om­men­da­tions] do not sug­gest the con­sump­tion of olive oil with­out limit.”

While some in the sec­tor are push­ing to improve olive oil’s Nutri-Score clas­si­fi­ca­tion, the Spanish Association of the Origin denom­i­na­tions, Origen España, has said it would pre­fer adopt­ing the Nutrinform Battery label­ing plat­form.

A spokes­woman told reporters that the orga­ni­za­tion believes the Italian sys­tem will be more in line with real­ity.”

The orga­ni­za­tion, which rep­re­sents more than 200,000 Spanish pro­duc­ers with a Protected Geographical Indication or Protected Designation of Origin, shares the Italian posi­tion about the uni­ver­sal adop­tion of Nutri-Score for high-qual­ity spe­cialty prod­ucts.





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