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Calorie Labelling Consultation – have your say...

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The hospitality industry is being urged to respond to a Calorie Labelling Consultation, which has recently been launched by the government.

Through the public consultation on how to introduce calorie labelling for food and drink consumed outside of the home, the government is looking to obtain views on how this could apply to small businesses - street vendors, restaurants with fast-changing menus and online takeaway businesses.

The consultation closes on 7 December 2018 and your answers and opinions will help the government to make sure that the legislation works in practice.

Proposed legislation

The government intends to introduce legislation to make calorie labelling compulsory in the out-of-home sector. This includes restaurants, cafes and takeaways, as well as online businesses that sell food or drink for takeaway or home delivery that is ready to be consumed.

The aim of the policy is to ensure that consumers have access to clear and accurate information, on the calorie content of the food and drink that they are purchasing and consuming.

Making this information available can help people to make informed and healthy choices for themselves and for their families, helping them to regulate their energy intake and that of their children. It is hoped that this will contribute to efforts to reduce childhood obesity.

Challenges facing the hospitality sector

Whilst the proposed legislation may be beneficial to consumers, it is also important to take into consideration the challenges that many SMEs in the hospitality industry already face. For example, micro-businesses, which includes those with fewer than 10 employees, may find the calorie labelling requirement harder to implement.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The consultation does seem to acknowledge that there will be difficulties for some businesses, particularly smaller ones, to implement calorie labelling. UKHospitality has been very clear that any inflexible mandatory requirements will place considerable burdens on smaller businesses and those venues that change their menus regularly.

“UKHospitality will be using the consultation as an opportunity to reiterate that point and highlight the efforts already being undertaken by the sector to provide transparency and choice.”

The consultation includes detailed information on the proposed legislation and a number of questions regarding calorie labelling. The views and opinions of consumers, and businesses in the hospitality sector will help the government to implement the policy more effectively. It is therefore important to make your voice heard.

For further information and to answer the online survey, please click here