Books – “Consumers and companies: the regulation of the food information”

“Consumers and companies: the regulation of the food information” (S. Buffagni, B. Burchi, R. Gallio, A. Tarabella, (edited by) E. Varese) ISBN 978-88-348-3924-9

Consumers and businesses: two sides of the same coin, the recipients opposing the new legislation that redefines the rules on food labelling. The new discipline of information on foods aims, on the one hand to the protection of consumers’ health, through proper and understandable information, and on the other to the proper functioning of markets through the simplification of legislation and reducing administrative burdens for businesses.

In recent years the European Union has committed itself particularly to achieve these objectives, first with the EC Regulation 1924/2006, which has finally regulated the field of voluntary information on the nutritional and health claims, and then with the EU Regulation 1169 / 2011, by which it is regulated again the whole subject of food labelling. Two measures important and essential, long expected and desired, but it can be said that the European Union through these two texts has managed to achieve its objectives?

The co-authors of the book “Consumers and companies: the regulation of food information” tried, each within its competences, to investigate these aspects and to illustrate and analyze the content of individual pieces of legislation, in order to provide the reader with a useful tool to the whole “world” of communication on food.

The text, as divided into 11 chapters, is actually made up of two parts: the first devoted to the analysis and commentary, including diagrams, graphical representations and merchandise considerations of EU Regulation 1169/2011, the second showing a reasoned analysis of the production and consumption of the food in Italy and in Piedmont, and the results of a survey conducted to investigate attitudes towards food labelling of a purposive sample of consumers in Piedmont.

The above mentioned chapter, written by E. Varese, S. Buffagni and R. Gallio, and the other one related to the new challenges faced by the companies to be in compliance with these regulations, written by R. Gallio, are really enlightening. They stressed two key points of the future of food regulation:

1)      What do the consumers understand of all the information available? What do they read? How their behaviour can be modified by the labelling?

2)      Which are the main challenges for the companies who want to be in compliance with these ever-changing regulations?

If you are interested, you can find the book here (only in Italian for now…)

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