The group said the color-coded front-of-pack nutritional label is crucial to help consumers make healthier food choices.
Danone and Nestlé are part of the group, which includes food companies, academics, consumer groups, policy makers, and retailers.
They have sent a joint letter to the EU Commission, in which they ask for a legislative proposal to introduce the Nutri-Score EU-wide.
The call comes before the EU Commission is due to publish its Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims to make the food system sustainable. As the strategy also aims to promote healthy food for all, the group said it expects the EU executive to propose an EU-wide front-of-pack nutritional label.
Full list of signatories:
MEP Biljana Borzan
MEP Michèle Rivasi
MEP Véronique Trillet-Lenoir
Monique Goyens, Director General, The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)
Dirk Van Hevel, Country Manager at Test Achats
Alain Bazot, President of UFC-Que Choisir
Alberto Pirrone, Country Manager at Altroconsumo
Olof King, Advocacy Manager, Consumentenbond
Antonio Balhanas, Country Manager at Deco Proteste
Ivo Mechels, CEO Euroconsumers
Esther Rodriguez, Director, OCU
Academics and public health organizations
Dr Nancy Babio, President of the CODINUCAT (College of Dietitians-Nutritionists of Catalonia) Governing Board, Researcher at Rovira i Virgili University, Spain
Teodora Handjieva-Darlenska, MD, PhD, President of the Bulgarian Association for Study of Obesity and Related Diseases
Pr Serge Hercberg, MD, PhD, Professor of Nutrition, University Sorbonne Paris Nord
Violeta Moizé President of SEDYN (Scientific Society of Dietetics and Nutrition), Spain
Dr Marta Planas, President of SCADC (Catalonian of Food and Clinical Dietetics Society)
Pr Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Professor of Nutrition. Human Nutrition Unit (Director), Rovira i Virgili University. Reus, Spain
Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere, Senior researcher Food & Health, Sciensano, Belgium
Association Française des Diététiciens Nutritionnistes
Société Française de Santé Publique
Irish Heart Foundation
Spanish Patients’ Forum
Food companies and retailers
Ahold Delhaize, Wouter Kolk (CEO Europe and Indonesia)
Albert Heijn, Marit van Egmond (CEO)
AUCHAN Retail Portugal
Carrefour Belgium, François-Melchior de Polignac, (CEO)
Delhaize, Belgium, Xavier Piesvaux, (CEO)
Dutch Food Retail Association, Marc Jansen, (Director)
Groupement Les Mousquetaires
Hak, Timo Hoogeboom, (CEO)
Kaufland Stiftung & Co. KG
Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG
Monique Goyens, director general of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), said as the number of overweight people, and obesity remain high in the EU, it is essential to equip consumers with tools such as the Nutri-Score to help them to compare products and make healthier choices in the supermarket.
One in two European adults is either overweight or obese.
Thomas Gauthier-Lafaye, Europe public affairs director at Danone, said, “At Danone, we actively promote healthier eating and drinking habits. No system is perfect, but we see Nutri-Score as the best scheme today for people to compare products’ nutritional quality at a glance, also within a category. We therefore support the call to make this color-coded and front-of pack nutritional label mandatory across the EU.”
Bart Vandewaetere, head of corporate communications and government relations for Nestlé zone EMENA, said, “We started our reformulation journey 20 years ago to make our products healthier. Nutri-Score now offers a clear standard that helps move even faster. For example, 16% of our breakfast cereals in France scored ‘A’ or ‘B’ in 2019. Our ambition is that more than 50% of our breakfast cereals in France are ‘A’ or ‘B’ by end of 2021.”
The group said research conducted in several countries shows Nutri-Score is currently the best-performing scheme as it helps consumers compare the nutritional quality of foods across a range of products, and allows them to make healthier choices in the supermarket.