Food & Drink Export Month 2014, Understanding food labelling for export & the new EU rules

Stephen Pugh (Head of Food Labelling for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, DEFRA), Vanessa Richardson (the International Regulatory Manager of Ashbury Labelling) and Klaudyna Terlicka (EU regulatory manager of Ashbury Labelling) give a webinar on understanding food labelling for export and the new EU rules.

Here are a few key points:

Know your Food Information for Consumers (FIC) Regulations. The regulations require information on the origin of the product, on any allergens or intolerances, nutritional information, a minimum font size and wholesale packaging. While some countries prefer information in writing, others prefer it to be explained orally.

Research Specific requirements including the monitoring of high caffeine content, the source of vegetable oils and fats, the date of freezing foods, any added water/proteins and foods made from pieces of meat.

Comply with European law. If you meet the requirements of one country within the EU, you can sell to another. You could consider one label for all member states.

Make adjustments. You should translate and modify the labelling according to legislation, the legal product name, the pictorial representation and any claims and additional statements.

‘Anything to declare’ It is necessary to declare the permitted mass and volume, ingredients and storage conditions of the exported products.

Adapt your labelling. It may be necessary to adapt the labels of your product. For example in some countries under 5 % of fat in a product can go unlabelled however in others the percentage must be given on the packaging.

Other considerations including knowledge of prohibited ingredients, the use of and the maximum levels of additives within a product, import restrictions, condiments/pesticides/chemicals and requirements on vitamins.

For more information you can view this list of useful contacts:

Useful contacts:

Food & Drink Export Association:

Ashbury Labelling:


Codex Alimentarius (International Standards):

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

Export Action Plan