- Nestlé wants to make the content of sugar, salt and fat better visible on its products.
- The Group would like to use the Nutri score scale, which is already established in France, Belgium or Switzerland.
- However, Minister of Food Klöckner strictly rejects them – and the process for better labeling is drawing.
The misunderstanding was great when nutrition minister Julia Klöckner recently sought to be close to the food company Nestlé. A video with Germany boss Mark Aurel Boersch on the subject of sugar earned her the charge of surreptitious advertising. Criticism comes now from Nestlé itself. The largest food company in the world accuses the CDU politician, they block a consumer-friendly labeling of food in Germany with the Nutri score scale. The company had previously announced that it wants to print the nutritional traffic light on its products in Europe in the future. "This move reflects Nestlé's desire to promote healthier and more informed consumer choices," it says.
But what is not a problem in countries such as France, Belgium or Switzerland, because the local authorities support Nutri-Score, is currently failing in Germany in laws and policies. In the spring, a court of the frozen food company Iglo had forbidden to use the logo for its products. The labeling is not allowed under competition law, the statement of reasons. The BLL, industry association of the German food industry, rejects the sign, nutrition minister Klöckner also. She wants to develop her own model for Germany in the coming months, based on a consumer survey to be presented in Berlin on Thursday.
Nestlé, on the other hand, is pushing for the fastest possible release of Nutri-Score in this country. In this case, Nestlé Germany will also start implementing it without delay. "Europeans are always more interested in what's in the food and drink they consume," said Marco Settembri, Nestlé's European, Middle East and North African chief.
Consumers repeatedly complain about incomprehensible information on packaging and want more transparency. But the dispute over easily understandable contents on packaging has been going on for years. After the failure of the binding, EU-wide introduction of a food traffic light a few years ago by the resistance of the manufacturers' associations, scientists in France developed the Nutri score system on a voluntary basis. Consumer advocates and health experts are also supporting the labeling, which not only emphasizes dietary fiber, salt and fat, but also fiber and proteins. Corporations like Danone and others have long been printing the logo on their packaging in some EU countries. Now Nestlé is catching up, and that should also have a signal effect on the industry in Germany.
Foodwatch supports Nestlé's initiative. From the perspective of the consumer organization, the process for better labeling in Germany is too slow. Nutri-Score was scientifically proven and tried and tested, but it was rejected. "Ms. Klöckner operates consumer protection prevention policy," says Foodwatch expert Luise Molling. The Food Ministry itself did not comment directly on Nestlé's demand on Wednesday. However, it was right and important "that companies are now more and more involved in the labeling issue," it said. Whether in Germany now Nutri-Score or another system will prevail, should be determined by the desire of the consumer ministers of the countries by the end of the year at the latest.
(TagToTranslate) Consumption and Trade (t) Diet (t) Julia Klöckner (t) Food (t) Nestlé (t) Economy (t) Süddeutsche Zeitung