PROUD TO BE CLEAR – KEY DOCUMENTS
PROUD TO BE CLEAR – LATEST NEWS
Brewers celebrate 10 years of the EU Beer Pledge with delivery on commitment to ingredients and energy labelling
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PROUD TO BE CLEAR Brewers sign new EU Code of Conduct on sustainability in the food and drink industryBrussels, July 5, 2021 – The Brewers of Europe...
1.Others talk the talk,
but Brewers walk the walk
Brewers believe in empowering people with facts to make informed decisions. Since the initial decision in 2015 to voluntarily state what’s inside their beers on the outside, Brewers have advanced and expanded on this goal, resulting in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by The Brewers of Europe, national brewers’ associations and leading companies, in September 2019, whereby they pledged to label ingredients and nutritional information per 100ml on bottles and cans.
The Brewers of Europe have developed toolkits to make EU legislation more accessible to brewers and to decode the jargon. We help breweries understand the commitment and explain how nutritional values can be calculated and presented.
We led the way by supporting the implementation of this commitment by brewers; through the dissemination of guidance tools and using detailed monitoring to report annually on progress.
2.Brewers exceeding expectations with better ingredients and calorie labelling
Brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients listing and calorie information in full accordance with EU law, on-label and online, since 2015. In July 2018 the commitment was bolstered with a recommendation to all breweries to list ingredients and calories on the labels of pre-pack containers. In September 2019, The Brewers of Europe, together with national associations and leading companies, then signed, in the presence of the EU Health Commissioner, a Memorandum of Understanding and a Brewers’ Ambition to roll out the commitment across the EU by end 2022.
We’re more determined than ever to meet consumers’ expectations.
95% of our pre-packaged beer in the EU now labels ingredients and 88% labels calorie information.
3.Respecting EU law
EU law currently exempts alcoholic beverages over 1.2% abv from the legal obligation to label ingredients and energy values.
However, it does set clear rules for any company wishing to respond to consumer expectations and how to voluntarily do this.
Ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight, as recorded at the time of their use.
Energy values must be provided (just as they are for non-alcoholic beverages) in kj and kcal per 100ml to allow a like-for-like comparison amongst all beverages
As the European Commission drafts proposals for new mandatory labelling requirements, it is clear that ingredients lists and energy values per 100ml are amongst the essential, clear, objective, comparable facts that should appear on the labels of all alcoholic beverages.
4.Leading by example
75 percent* of Europeans agree that ingredients should be listed on the labels of all alcoholic beverages, whilst 69 percent* agree energy values should be labelled per 100ml, the well-known and understood legal reference volume that also applies to all non-alcoholic beverages.
Two thirds* of European also agree that priority on the label should be given to ingredients and calorie values, whilst the other nutrition information should still be easily accessible.
Our commitment is about meeting consumers’ expectations. We believe that we have the right approach – implementing the horizontal rules in Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 – and we encourage other sectors and the European Commission to follow our lead.
* 2022 IPSOS survey of 9,000 adults across 9 European countries.
4.Committed to clarity
Consumers like clear, consistent, honest communication. That’s why European brewers are delivering on our responsibility to promote responsible alcohol consumption by voluntarily providing consumers with the list of ingredients and nutrition information in full accordance with EU law, a decision welcomed by policymakers and NGOs alike.
Commenting in May 2019, the EU’s Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis stated: “I welcome brewers’ commitment to provide the full list of ingredients and the energy values per 100ml on the labels of all pre-pack beers. The EU Regulation sets the rules to follow and I’m delighted that brewers are fulfilling these high standards. This is in the interest of public health and consumers information”.
In his letter to The Brewers of Europe on 27 September 2019, Commissioner Andriukaitis added: “I encourage you to become the gold standard when it comes to industry commitments to labelling”.
Commissioner Andriukaitis’s successor as the EU’s Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, addressed The Brewers of Europe on 11 June 2021, welcoming the brewers’ progress and stating: “Industry has a key role to play in protecting the health of our citizens and empowering them to choose healthy lifestyles.”
Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) states that, “It is crucial that nutritional information and ingredients listings are provided for the consumer on the label of alcoholic products and in conformance with the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (1169/2011).” *
* Published letter from Monique Goyens to the EU Health Commissioner on the alcohol industry self-regulatory proposal, 12 April 2018
Brewers’ Pledge Reporting
The decision to provide this information is just one of the many responsibility commitments made by Europe’s brewers under the Beer Pledge. This pledge is our promise to support EU Member States in reducing alcohol related harm by taking concerted and measurable actions.
Discover how Europe’s brewers take their responsibility to help in Brewers’ Pledge Reporting.