The Federal Public Service Economy of Belgium has established guidelines on the use of the statement Â´artisanalÂ´ for both food and non-food products which are placed on the Belgian market.
Criteria are established which alleged Â´artisanalÂ´ products should satisfy. The claimed status should either relate to the intrinsic characteristics of the product (inter alia unprocessed, absence of additives) or the production process (authentic production methods which are mainly manual or craftsmanship). In addition, it has to concern a small scale production. The Guidance reiterates the prohibition on misleading food information under the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011). Although the use of the term Â´artisanalÂ´ is thus not a legally defined statement, it should be observed its use does not concern misleading information. The responsible operator should be able to justify the statements made regarding the product. Misleading statements can be sanctioned with a penalty of 80.000 up to 200.000 euro. Note that the guidance requires also non-belgian manufacturers to adhere to the established standards.