Food laws and labelling as a contributor to food waste

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Food law, and food labelling, establishes the rights of consumers to safe food and to accurate and honest information. Although food safety is at the core of food information, the broad principle of the food law is about telling the truth about products so that the consumer can make a choice about what they choose to eat. However, food law and labelling can also become a trade barrier and thus contribute to food waste. Countries over the world have different rules regarding how food labels should look like and what information should be included. A product fit for one market cannot easily be sold at another market. An issue like 'use by date' is interpreted differently in different countries as well as the sugar content in jam. Also, the size of the text on the label is different in different markets. Combined with a short shelf-life the products that are perfectly fit for eating, has to be scrapped when stopped at the border. Consequently, different kinds of trade barriers can thus contribute to food waste even though the content is perfectly fit for consumption. The relevant questions are thus, should we strive for a more homogenous food law and labelling or strive for more compliance at local markets? This paper argues that we ought to strive for a more homogenous food law and labelling and thus eliminate some trade barriers when it comes to food exports. Compliance cannot easily be achieved if using a label fit for one market and using it for another market. The aim of this paper is to compare labelling in different countries in the world in order to describe the differences and thus to illustrate the difficulties when it comes to labelling. This paper will not discuss issues such as food safety, but rather show how safe and edible food cannot be sold due to label issues. Also, this paper cannot cover all issues on labelling but only touches upon some of them. This means that the focus of this paper will be on some examples which often have variations in different markets.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • IKEA of Sweden AB

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Juridik


Titel på värdpublikationEnvisioning a Future Without Food Waste and Food Poverty
Undertitel på gästpublikationSocietal Challenges
FörlagWageningen Academic Publishers
Antal sidor6
ISBN (elektroniskt)9789086868209
ISBN (tryckt)9789086862757
StatusPublished - 2015 jan 1
Peer review utfördJa