Mandatory calorie labelling a retrograde step warns UKHospitality
21 August 2019
Posted by: Pernille Thomsen
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."
Notes to editors