GS1 about the EU Food Information Regulation and its Impact
Manufacturers and retailers of pre-packed food and beverage – especially those selling online – are affected by the European Food Information Regulation EU 1169/2011 since its introduction in December 2014.
The regulation aims to make sure that consumers can make informed food buying decisions at the point-of-sale by giving them product information about quality, nutritional value, ingredients including allergens and country of origin. This product information must be visible online as well as in-store prior-to the purchase.
On December 13th 2015, the European Food Information Regulation (FIR) will be effective for one year. For this anniversary, we talked to Christian Przybilla, Head of E-Business/GDSN at GS1 Germany to learn what has changed within the past 12 months and how companies are managing the need to provide more comprehensive and accurate product data across all sales channels to ensure regulatory compliance.
How many organizations have successfully implemented the new rules and regulations from EU FIR 2014?
Christian Przybilla: With regards to food product labelling requirements (e.g. high-lighting allergens in ingredient statement) we see that most companies provide FIR-compliant products. However, a lot of companies still have problems to provide these sensitive article master data also by electronic means (e.g. via GDSN – Global Data Synchronization Network). Product data relevant for FIR is still incomplete and not accurate enough so that retailers cannot really rely on this information e.g. for their online-shops.
Are there some sectors of industry that have greater difficulty in supplying data than others?
Christian Przybilla: We are not aware of any huge differences between sectors and/or product categories. We realize that a lot of SMEs (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) are challenged with the on-going provision of article master data in general. However, also some large companies with a wide range of products face problems to provide accurate product data and keep this data up-to-date.
From your experience, what were the major challenges, food manufacturers and retailers have or had to overcome to comply?
Christian Przybilla: One of the biggest challenges for companies – both retailers and suppliers – is to implement processes that safeguard the provision of accurate, complete and up-to-date product data. In short: The key success factor for FIR and beyond is to provide trusted quality data.
What happens to manufacturers and retailers that are not compliant?
Christian Przybilla: If food business operators do not comply with FIR requirements they in principle have to face reactions from public authorities and sentences from jurisdictions. So far, there are probably not as many cases as expected before. However, the consequences of the Shopwings-case, some drugstore-cases and also court decision with regards to some food suppliers show that FIR is already implement in real practice.
Informatica is a Solution Provider Partner of GS1 listed by the regional organization GS1 Germany and a 1WorldSync-certified Solution Partner. To learn how Informatica can help comply more effectively with EU 1169/2011, please contact us or read the Data Sheet about Informatica’s GDSN Accelerator for MDM – Product 360.