Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

The future for food labelling in the UK - government strategy and options for reform, standards and safety, and future trading relationships

Morning, Tuesday, 24th November 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is examining the future for food labelling in the UK.

The discussion at a glance:

  • Tackling obesity - the new government strategy and its implications for food labelling, with plans for:
    • consultation - Front-of-pack nutrition labelling in the UK: building on success, as well as views expected to be sought on marketing and labelling of infant foods
    • hospitality - introduction of calorie labelling for food sold in large restaurants, takeaways and cafes
    • alcohol - consulting on the inclusion of calorie labelling on alcohol products
    • HFSS marketing - restrictions on the promotion of high fat, sugar and salt products within stores and their advertisement online and on TV
  • further possible developments - allergens, country of origin, and sustainability labelling
  • UK transition - next steps for UK policy and regulation as new international trading relationships are established, including: the use of geographical indicators and origin labels, health marks and health claims, organic standards, and the UK’s internal market and wider trade agreements
  • the COVID-19 pandemic - the sector’s response and approach to supporting food supply

A scan of relevant developments:

  • UK transition - the European Commission looking to legislate for a harmonised front-of-pack labelling scheme, and concerns around the potential impact a US trade deal could have on food labelling regulations in the UK
  • New voluntary calorie guidelines to help industry tackle obesity - Government encouraging the food industry to adopt calorie reduction guidelines
  • Front-of-pack nutrition labelling in the UK: building on success - the government consultation on front-of-pack nutrition labelling schemes, seeking views on: whether front-of-pack schemes should reflect the Government’s latest dietary advice on sugar and fibre
  • Natasha’s Law - requiring food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packed for direct sale foods
  • further policy initiatives - Tackling obesity, PHE’s Commercial infant and baby food and drink: evidence review, the Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment’s Hungry for Change: fixing the failures in food report, and Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020

The discussion in detail:

  • The end of the transition period:
    • UK choices - the impact of future trade deals on UK food labelling going forward, and opportunities and challenges of any divergence on the future relationship with the EU
    • impact - what any potential changes mean for UK food and drink businesses including health marks and claims, origin labelling, organic standards and geographical indicators
    • NI - implications for products sold in Northern Ireland
    • the UK internal market white paper - possibility of food labelling powers for Scotland and Wales, and what it would mean for consumers, suppliers and other stakeholders
  • reform to FOPL and other areas of labelling:
    • looking at products sold both within and outside the UK internal market, allergens, consumer protection and clarity to address health inequalities, healthy choices and particular areas of focus including calories and sugar, infant nutrition, alcohol, and novel food products
  • National Food Strategy:
    • truthfulness - the call in Part One for industry to address use of misleading language on packaging, exaggerated health claims or information omitted about natural ingredients with high sugar levels
  • the Obesity Strategy:
    • public health messaging - effective strategies for utilising front of packaging food labels to encourage people to make healthy choices
    • alcohol calorie labelling - the impact it would have on public health, consumers and the sector
    • engagement and compliance - options for supporting the food and drink industry to implement commitments within the strategy
    • informed decisions - ensuring people understand upcoming changes in food labelling and that they can benefit from any reforms
  • Out of home:
    • reform - government confirming in its consultation response that it will legislate to introduce mandatory calorie labelling on food and drink for large businesses such as pubs and restaurants
    • issues for the hospitality industry - as they also deal with restrictions and new procedures put in place as part of the response to COVID-19
  • Online:
    • priorities for improving the labelling of food and drink products online and protecting consumers, with the UK due to present an international standard for online sales to the Codex Committee on Food Labelling later this year

The agenda:

  • Current and emerging issues for front of pack labelling
  • Ensuring consumer safety - improving food standards and implementing Natasha’s Law
  • Case study - adapting labelling guidance to support flexibility in the food chain during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Policy priorities - the Obesity Strategy, the National Food Strategy and front-of-pack nutrition labelling
  • Developing an international standard for food labelling online
  • Food labelling and the future trading relationships - geographical indicators, health marks and claims, organic standards, and the UK internal market
  • The future for food labelling in the UK

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This one looks no different. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from both Houses of Parliament, and officials from Defra; DHSC; the Food Standards Agency; the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, NI; Food Standards Scotland; The Scottish Government; the Welsh Government; the National Food Crime Unit; the DAFM; the Department for International Trade; DFID; and the Government Legal Department.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Sam Jennings

Director, Berry Ottaway & Associates

Keynote Speakers

David Pineda Ereño

Managing Director, DPE International Consulting

Rebecca Sudworth

Director of Policy, Food Standards Agency

Rob Wells

Head of Food Information to Consumers Labelling (domestic), Agri-Food Chain Directorate, Defra

Sam Jennings

Director, Berry Ottaway & Associates


Nigel Mills MP


David Pickering

Lead Officer Food & Nutrition, Chartered Trading Standards Institute

Noel Griffin

Labelling Tutor, Better Training for Safer Food

Carla Jones

CEO, Allergy UK

Mhairi Brown

Policy and Public Affairs Coordinator, Action in Salt & Action on Sugar

Sian Edmunds

Partner, Burges Salmon

Dr David Lloyd-Thomas

Head of Food Policy & Strategy Unit, Department for Natural Resources, Welsh Government

Nick Soper

Director, Soper Consulting

Sue Davies

Strategic Policy Advisor, Which?

Isabelle Kelly

Sustainable Development Manager, Quorn Foods