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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Development of uniform food information -the case of front of package nutrition labels in the EU

Bottari, Federico; Mark-Herbert, Cecilia


The current malnutrition epidemic calls for actions. Current practices in the EU show a variety of communication eforts but the international character of food markets call for a harmonized language. The aim of the project is to identify the themes in the on-going debate regarding the development of a single front-of-package nutrition label in the European Union. A case study approach was used, focusing on the positions of diferent key stakeholders in Sweden and Italy. Overarching EU-perspectives, European Commission and European Council of Ministries were also included. Collected data from semi-structured interviews and strategic documents were used in a thematic content analysis. The results show that the stakeholders are infuencing the process towards contradicting outcomes. Diferent stakeholders argue for opposing ideal labelling schemes, while still agreeing on the need for a harmonization. Major disagreements arise on whether the label should be voluntary or not, based on portion or 100g and on the ideal label design. Stakeholders’ positions depend on food system role and previous experience of this type of labelling. The internal political debate in the European Union is still at an early stage and consensus has not been reached due to diverging views. The patterns that emerge from the analysis of the diferent point of views can facilitate the coopera‑ tion between stakeholders and policy-makers.


Farm to fork strategy; Legislative process; Lobbying; Standard; Stakeholder management

Published in

Archives of Public Health
2022, volume: 80, number: 1, article number: 175

Authors' information

Bottari, Federico
No organisation
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and wellbeing
SDG12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

UKÄ Subject classification

Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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