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News & Press: General

Mandatory calorie labelling a retrograde step warns UKHospitality

21 August 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pernille Thomsen
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UKHospitality has warned that the introduction of mandatory calorie labelling would place significant burdens on Scottish hospitality businesses.

The warning follows recommendations by Food Standards Scotland to the Scottish Government to introduce mandatory labelling for all out-of-home food businesses. 

UKHospitality Executive Director for Scotland Willie Macleod said: “We are certainly supportive of efforts to promote healthier attitudes to food and drink, and Scotland’s hospitality businesses have already been leading the way. Many businesses have already taken action to reformulate menus, reduce calories and increase the level of choice and transparency for customers. Businesses have done this already on a voluntary basis and customers are now better informed than they have ever been.

“Introducing mandatory labelling is potentially a retrograde step that would cause significant problems for some businesses, particularly SMEs. Smaller businesses would likely struggle to cope with an inflexible one-size-fits-all approach. 

“A blanket introduction of mandatory labelling would represent a considerable additional cost for businesses already facing tightening margins at a time of unprecedented political uncertainty. It would also represent a considerable burden for those venues that change their menus regularly, some on a daily basis, to incorporate locally sourced produce, seasonal ingredients and specials. Small and medium-sized businesses might also find their ability to innovate, particularly when tackling food waste, severely restricted. The end result is likely that prices would go up and investment would go down with much less choice for customers.

"Any mandatory polices that are introduced solely in Scotland will also cause inconsistencies and additional burdens for businesses that operate UK-wide. We need consistency in the rules to avoid unnecessary pressure and the potential for confusion." 

ENDS

Notes to editors

https://www.foodstandards.gov.scot/news-and-alerts/food-standards-scotland-recommends-action-eating-out-should-be-a-healthier-experience 

  • UKHospitality is the trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
  • UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
  • The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
  • For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
  • Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
  • The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
  • Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
  • Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined
  • Member benefits include free advice and expert guidance on regulation, finance and health and safety as well as savings on services from carefully selected business partners.

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