Alcohol Labelling

Labelling & Consumer Information – Update for Producers

24 March 2017

Further to our previous update, (see below), the Department of Health has published a new guidance document highlighting the elements of the UK Chief Medical Officers’ revised alcohol guidelines it suggests could be communicated to the public. Link here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/602132/Communicating_2016_CMO_guidelines_Mar_17.pdf

This guidance will enable us to update the advice for drinks producers in line with the industry's voluntary commitment to providing relevant consumer information. The Portman Group, in consultation with the sector trade associations for drinks producers, (BBPA, NACM, SWA and WSTA) will develop the following:
  • new best practice guidance for drinks producers on communicating relevant consumer information to replace the existing industry guidance.
  • an appropriate and realistic timetable for implementation.
Please note that as this new guidance is still under development and a realistic timescale for implementation still needs to be agreed, you do not need to make any immediate changes to your labels and the advice from the Food Standards Agency still stands:

https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/enf-e-16-005.pdf

However, if you are about to undergo a label change and want to discuss this with us please contact us via our free and confidential Advisory Service. Advice is also available from your relevant trade association.

Previous Update 

Further to our
last update the Government has now published the revised Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) guidelines on low risk drinking.

As the guidelines have changed the industry is in talks with the Government to gain clarity on the effect of the changes on our voluntary labelling pledge.

As soon as there is a consensus we will communicate it and update our guidance documents accordingly. In the meantime, you do not need to make any changes to your labels as the advice from the Food Standards Agency still stands:
 
 
If you are about to undergo a label change and want to discuss this with us please contact us via our free and confidential Advisory Service. Advice is also available from your relevant trade association.

Health Labelling

UK alcohol companies have pledged to implement an innovative health labelling scheme to provide more information about responsible drinking on alcohol labels and containers.

This voluntary scheme is the first of its kind in Europe and has been developed in conjunction with the UK Department of Health. Drinks companies have pledged to display the number of units, the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines and a pregnancy warning on 80 percent of drinks containers on shelves in the UK off-trade by the end of December 2013. 



Click here to download the alcohol labelling tool kit

Food Labelling

From 13 December 2014 the 2011 Food Information Regulation will come into force, replacing the 1996 Food Labelling Regulation.

As always, the Portman Group Code of Practice operates alongside the law and the Advisory Service cannot provide legal advice on legislation. 

If you require information about the legislative changes the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has created a guidance document which can be accessed here.

Alternatively, Trading Standards will shortly be releasing a guide on the provision of food information to consumers in line with the Food Information Regulation.  If you require more detailed guidance we would recommend contacting your Local Trading Standards service.

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) has a reference table which provides an overview of alcohol labelling requirements in various countries, to view the table please click here.