Two big players in the Dutch food market, Hak and Iglo, are going to introduce food information label Nutri-Score in the Netherlands. A European initiative to make the label compulsory in the European Union is ongoing, but the producers are not going to wait for the result in that case.
Hak and Iglo would be the first companies to introduce Nutri-Score in the Netherlands. Hak CEO Timo Hoogeboom says it makes no sense to keep on waiting: “A lot of stakeholders want it, the system has been introduced in three European countries, it has a scientific basis and tests have been successfull. We want, given the urgency of the problem of low vegetable consumption, to go on rather than to wait for a decision that may well be made only in 2020.”
Iglo has the same kind of reasoning: “If it is up to us, we follow neighbouring countries like Belgium and France and decide to introduce food information logo Nutri-Score rather sooner than later as the general information logo for Dutch food information label”, general manager Niels Bontje says in a press release.
Nutri-Score is a label that awards points for healthy ingredients (fibres, proteins, nuts, fruit and vegetables) and deducts points for unhealthy things (saturated fats, sugars and salt). The points are then recalculated into a total score ranging from A (green, “recommended”) to E (red, “avoid”). This should help customers choose healthy products.
The label of French origin is already introduced in Belgium as well, but in the latter it is a voluntary system where producers are not forced to display the logo on their products. However, seven European organisations for consumers’ rights have started an online petition to introduce the system in the entire EU. In order to be successful, the petition has to find at least a million signatories.