“It’s great news that, after years of delay, Tesco’s customers will at long last benefit from traffic light food labels, allowing them to judge how healthy or unhealthy food products are at a glance.
As the majority of supermarkets now use a traffic light system, the Government should promptly recommend a consistent traffic light format on all food labels.
We believe Morrisons is now the last remaining major retailer not giving its customers the benefit of traffic light labelling so we are calling on them, and all food retailers and manufacturers to work with the Government to introduce consistent and easy to understand food labelling which includes traffic light colours.”
1. For Tesco’s press release of 22 August 2012, “Tesco announces improved approach to food labelling”, see http://www.tescoplc.com/index.asp?pageid=17&newsid=672. Tesco joins Asda-Walmart, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Co-operative Food in using traffic light colours on its labels.
2. The Children’s Food Campaign has been campaigning for many years for the whole food industry to adopt traffic light labels. Independent research funded by the Food Standards Agency showed as far back as 2009 that consumers find labelling schemes which include traffic light labels most helpful in quickly assessing the healthiness of a food at the point of purchase – see http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/pmpreport.pdf. Tesco’s own research, refered to in its press release, supports these findings.
3. The Government is currently considering responses to an open consultation to determine which consistent format of food labelling it will recommend to industry. For a joint response from 33 civil society organisations, which recommends using traffic light colour coding, see http://www.sustainweb.org/childrensfoodcampaign/clear_food_labelling/
4. The Children’s Food Campaign aims to improve young people’s health and well-being through better food – and food teaching – in schools and by protecting children from junk food marketing. We are supported by over 160 national organisations and co-ordinated by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. For more information see www.childrensfood.org.uk