Irish spirits producers leading the way in providing energy information on labels

Irish whiskey has been awarded Geographic Indication status by the EU after a protracted application process

Ireland is the country with the highest level of energy on-pack labels in the EU



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11 May 2021

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Irish spirits producers lead the way in the EU in providing consumers with energy information on labels, the first implementation progress report for the industry wide Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has confirmed.

In 2019, Drinks Ireland|Spirits, which represents spirits producers in Ireland, signed a Europe-wide MoU, recognised by the European Commission, to provide consumers with clear information regarding the energy content of their products and the ingredients used in their manufacture.

The MoU commits European spirits companies to print energy information on the labels of products and provide online ingredients listings, including raw materials used. It stated that one quarter of spirits bottles sold must display energy information by the end of 2020, rising to half by the end of 2021 and two thirds by the end of 2022.

The MoU was also signed by the sector’s European trade association, spiritsEUROPE, which released a progress report today on the first implementation milestone of this MoU.

It states that Ireland is the country with the highest level of energy on-pack labels, significantly exceeding the 25% threshold, reaching up to 38% coverage.

While Ireland is leading the way, the report shows a high level of compliance and rapid progress across the EU. On average, around 25% of all spirits drinks in the markets analysed include on-label energy information in conformity with the MoU.

The report calls on the European Commission to include the specific voluntary approach enshrined in the MoU as mandatory provisions in the upcoming proposal on food information to consumers that is expected for late 2022.

Vincent McGovern, head of Drinks Ireland|Spirits said: “Ireland’s spirits industry is committed to providing consumers with clear and concise information, so they can make informed decisions about their purchases. It’s fantastic to see that the industry here has gone above and beyond the commitments set out in this voluntary MoU and are committed to the continued speedy rollout in the coming years.

“The MoU, which is recognised by the European Commission, will ensure consumers across the EU are provided with information in an effective and harmonised manner, helping governments and regulators meet their policy goals, and providing a long-term framework for labelling.”



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