Consumer information: ABFI signs Memorandum of Understanding to provide energy value on spirit drinks

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), the all-island trade association for the Irish drinks industry which is part of Ibec, Ireland’s largest business representative body, today signed a European-wide Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will provide consumers with clear information regarding the energy content of their products and the ingredients used in their manufacture.

The MoU was also signed by the sector’s European trade association, spiritsEUROPE, and a number of other trade groups and companies.

Specifically, the MOU commits European spirits companies to;
• print energy information on the labels of products
• provide for online ingredients listing, including raw material used.

The provisions go beyond existing legislative requirements and will see one quarter of spirits bottles placed on the EU market include energy labelling by next year, rising to two thirds by 2022. The measures were welcomed by EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis who described them as “a leap forward” in informing consumers about what they eat and drink.

Commenting on today’s announcement ABFI Director Patricia Callan said “Today’s development is hugely positive. The text of the MoU is clear and concise, giving spirits companies the clarity they need to implement the measures within an ambitious timeline.

“This MoU is a voluntary agreement recognised by the European Commission and is the product of many months of engagement between industry and the Commission. Signatories have committed to monitoring its impact and effectiveness now and into the future.

“This collaborative approach at EU level is the best way to ensure consumers get the information they need in the most effective and efficient way. Our industry is proud of the products it makes and this ground-breaking commitment highlights the role we can play in informing consumers and helping governments and regulators meet their policy goals”.