Strategic responses of business operators to food information obligations

B.M.J. van der Meulen, H.J. Bremmers

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review


Changes and uncertainties in legal requirements in the EU regarding food information to consumers will impact food businesses’ strategies. Our aim is to investigate the strategic responses to the present and new food information requirements. Such requirements are diverse and scattered over more than 200 directives and regulations. To limit the scope of this contribution we address two controversial issues with different impact and responses: mandatory information on country of origin/place of provenance (COO/ PP) and voluntary information governed by the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR). Uncertainties (and extra costs) with respect to nutrition and health claims are rooted ex-ante in the EU authorization procedures and ex post in the legal limitations for the use of claims. These factors negatively impact the expected value of the option to apply for a claim. Strategic options include – besides compliance – circumventing and temporarily trespassing the requirements. Uncertainties as to COO/ PP are vested in new Commission measures and possible new legislation that extends the scope of COO/PP. Strategic responses (and extra costs) are different of character and lie mainly in the re-ordering of the supply chain and production process, to be able to identify the source of a food or ingredient. The uncertainties in European information law do not contribute to the aim of realizing an internal market, nor does it support consumers in making informed choices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-360
JournalJournal für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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