Labelling and information for consumers.

The Firm provides advice to companies in terms of food labelling, nutrition and health claims and any other kind of information for consumers about food products.


  • General rules on labelling

    Labelling means “any words, particulars, trademarks, brand name, pictorial matter or symbol relating to a food and placed on any packaging, document, notice, label, ring or collar accompanying or referring to such food”.

    The general protocol about labelling is determined by the Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011, which sets out that all prepacked food must be provided with the following mandatory information:


    • The name of the food

    • The list of ingredients

    • Any ingredient or processing aid causing allergies or intolerances

    • The quantity of the underlined ingredients

    • The net quantity of the food

    • The date of minimum durability or the ‘use by’ date

    • Any special storage conditions and/or conditions of use

    • The name and address of the food business operator responsible for the food information

    • The country of origin or place of provenance of the food, when requested

    • the country of origin or place of provenance of the primary ingredients, when requested

    • Instructions for use

    • With respect to beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol, the actual alcoholic strength by volume

    • A nutrition declaration

    • Additional information for specific types of food


    Such information must be completed with:


    • The lot number [required by Italian Legislative Decree No. 231/2017, which implements the Directive (EU) No. 2011/91]

    • Information about the manufacturing or packaging facility (only mandatory in Italy under Legislative Decree No. 145/2017, which is formally still effective but has been declared inapplicable by section XVIII of the court order issued by the Civil Court of Rome on January 3, 2019)


  • Information for non-prepacked food

    As for non-prepacked food, the main legislative framework is represented by Italian Legislative Decree No. 231/2017, which lays down the following mandatory information:


    • The name of the food

    • The list of ingredients

    • Any ingredient or processing aid causing allergies or intolerances

    • The storage conditions for highly perishable food products

    • The ‘use by’ date for fresh pasta

    • With respect to beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol, the actual alcoholic strength by volume

    • The glaze percentage, for frosted glaze products

    • The designation “defrosted”


  • Rules for specific foods

    Moreover, for many categories of food, provisions concerning such matters dictate further mandatory indications.

    For instance, specific rules are established for:


    • Vinegars

    • Mineral waters

    • Spirit drinks

    • Non-alcoholic beverages

    • Beer

    • Cocoa and chocolate

    • Meat

    • Jam, jelly, marmalade

    • Milk and dairy products

    • Honey

    • Olive oil

    • Fresh fruit and vegetables

    • Bread, pasta and bakery goods

    • Seafood

    • Juices and nectars

    • Eggs

    • Wine


  • Voluntary food information

    In addition to mandatory food particulars, further information can be provided on a voluntary basis on food labels and advertising.

    While including voluntary information is a free choice of the food business operator, such information shall comply with the fair practices laid down in Article 7 of the Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011, as specified below.


    Food information shall not be misleading, especially


    • As regards the characteristics of the food and, in particular, its nature, identity, properties, composition, quantity, durability, country of origin or place of provenance, method of manufacture or production

    • By attributing to the food effects or properties which it does not possess

    • By suggesting that the food possesses special characteristics when in fact all similar foods possess such characteristics, in particular by specifically emphasizing the presence or absence of certain ingredients and/or nutrients

    • By suggesting, by means of the appearance, the description or pictorial representations, the presence of a particular food or an ingredient, while in reality a component naturally present or an ingredient normally used in that food has been substituted with a different component or a different ingredient


    Food information shall be accurate, clear and easy for the consumer to understand


    Subject to derogations applicable to specific food categories, food information shall not attribute to any food the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease, nor refer to such properties.

    Also, the following indications shall be evaluated very carefully:


    • “Gluten-free” or “very low in gluten”

    • “Lactose-free” or “low-lactose”

    • “Handmade”

    • “Natural”

    • Any indication that can infringe the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).


  • Nutrition and health claims

    In the scope of voluntary food information, nutrition and health claims are of great importance and are subject to specific provisions.

    The Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 establishes the following definitions:


    • ‘Nutrition claim’ means any claim which states, suggests or implies that a food has particular beneficial nutritional properties due to the energy it provides, its nutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, sodium, vitamins and minerals) or other substances that have a nutritional or physiological effect (including the so-called “botanicals”) e.g. “source of protein”, “light” etc.

    • ‘Health claim’ means any claim that states, suggests or implies that a relationship exists between a food and health e.g. “vitamin B6 contributes to normal energy metabolism”


    Nutrition and health claims can only be used after authorization has been granted, except for certain nutrition claims for which the authorization procedure is still pending (claims pending). In such case, they can be used until a decision is made.

    The use of nutrition and health claims must comply with the rules laid down by:


    • Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 and Regulation (EU) No. 432/2012

    • Specific authorization provisions

    • Guidelines issued by the Italian Ministry of Health on the use of botanicals and their physiological effects.


  • E-commerce

    Operators who intend to implement an online sales system must take into account the related regulations, which also concern information to be provided to consumers.
The following regulations are particularly important:


    1) Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011, establishing that mandatory food information for prepacked food shall be available before the purchase is concluded (except for minimum durability or ‘use by’ date and lot number);


    2) Italian Legislative Decree No. 206/2005 (Consumer Code), that in articles 49 et seq. establishes that the following information shall be provided before the purchase is concluded:


    • The main characteristics of the goods

    • The identity of the seller, including its address, phone number, fax and e-mail address

    • The price of the goods, including all taxes and duties

    • The arrangements for payment and delivery of the goods

    • The deadline for delivery

    • The existence of a right of withdrawal and the related procedures

    • The procedures and costs for the return or collection of the goods if the aforementioned right of withdrawal is exercised

    • Information about after-sales services and any existing guarantees


    3) Article 7 of Italian Legislative Decree No. 70/2003 on E-commerce lists the compulsory information that must be easily accessible:


    • The identity of the operator, including its address, contact details and registration number with the Register of Companies

    • The VAT number

    • The price of the goods, including all taxes and delivery costs

    • Technical specifications on the conclusion of a contract and ways to correct any mistake in the data entry process before sending the order of contract and on methods to correct errors of introduction of data before the order is submitted

    • Information on how the contract is archived

    • The guidelines for dispute resolution


    All information must be clear and comprehensible to the target audience and the country of destination.


Services provided by the firm.

The Firm provides you with the following services:


  • The legal review of food and beverage labelling (including wine, spirit drinks and beer) with the indication of the changes necessary to ensure their compliance with EU, Italian and target countries regulations

  • Ready for press: legal validation of the labels in their final graphic form, before printing, to confirm their correctness and compliance with the regulations

  • The drafting of nutritional claims

  • The monitoring of food information for products sold loose or prepacked, in terms of ingredients causing allergies as well as any other legal obligation

  • The assessment of advertising in order to verify its compliance with the obligation of providing correct information to consumers (pamphlets, websites and social media)

  • The review of voluntary food information on the label, including the terms “natural”, “handmade”, “gluten-free” and “lactose-free” to check if they are allowed

  • The review of nutritional and health claims

  • The support to EU and third countries companies willing to export their products to Italy

  • The support for a correct implementation of e-commerce


Contact us for more information or fill out the FORM to get an estimate of costs for our services


Other Services.


Wine
regulations

Production and commerce, labelling, PDO and PGI, registers and declarations, aromatized wines.

Food safety
and hygiene

Traceability, withdrawal and recall, hygiene requirements, Haccp, flexibility.

Food supplements, fortified food and novel food

Food supplements, fortified food, novel food, food for specific population groups.

Geographical indications and quality schemes

PDO, PGI, TSG, organic, integrated production, certification and collective marks.

Organization of the company and trade relations

Contracts, e-commerce, trademarks, penalties, debts recovery, litigations.

Administrative
law​

Obligations to start production, public contribution, administrative proceedings and appeals.

Training and corporate advice

On-premise training courses, webinar, ongoing legal advice.