The Dutch Secretary of State of Public Health has formally communicated the decision to introduce the Nutri-Score labelling scheme in the Netherlands. After France, the country where the scheme was initially developed, Belgium, Spain and Germany, the Dutch authorities have decided to adopt the logo. Nutri-score is a label indication displaying a letter (from A to E) and a colour (green to red) in order to rank foods within a category in relation to their âfavourableâ or âless favourableâ nutritional characteristics. The scheme is well on its way to become the uniform European Union scheme in assisting consumers choosing healthier food alternatives. Especially, when considering the UK - with its different but well established traffic labelling scheme - is soon leaving the bloc.
It is foreseen the first Dutch products with a Nutri-Score will be on supermarket shelves from mid-2021. The authorities first want to thoroughly consider whether it meets the conditions for voluntary labelling schemes (i.e. additional forms of expression and presentation) under EU labelling rules (article 35 of the EU Food Information to Consumers Regulation 2011/1169) and aligns with local nutritional recommendations. Interestingly, the Secretary of State notes that preferably consumers should rather opt for fresh fruits and vegetables as opposed to processed, packaged foods where the Nutri-Score will predominantly be found on. However, he notes that it is not always so evident due to busy lifestyles or sudden desires for snacking.
Furthermore, Dutch experts will contribute to an international committee aligning on the findings of the different countries which have introduced Nutri-Score in order to propose changes to better meet nutritional recommendations.
Paul Blokhuis, Dutch Minister of Public Health - Toespraak van staatssecretaris Blokhuis bij persbriefing over het voedselkeuzelogo - link