Due to the COVID-19 pandemic certain food ingredients and packaging material may be in short supply. To provide food manufacturers more flexibility and to avoid reduced availability of foodstuffs for consumers, the labelling requirements for food products are relaxed for a time limited period of six months. The derogation will allow food producers to source alternative ingredients or packaging materials to substitute ingredients or materials in short supply without having to amend the packaging information.
For the derogation to apply, the following conditions have to be met:
First, the manufacturer has to demonstrate that the supply shortage is a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic;
Second, the alternative ingredients used have no bearing on the relevant health information provided on the packaging (e.g. ingredients that are allergen or may cause undesired reactions); and
Third, foodstuff produced according to this derogation has to be labelled with a red round sticker followed by an internet address where consumers can obtain information about the ingredients and packaging materials used, and how these may differ from the information contained on the packaging.