Webinar: Is the Nutri-Score system a threat to natural products?

The webinar attended by experts and representatives of the agricultural and food industry will take place on November 25, 2021 at 1 p.m., in cooperation with Portal Spożywczy. Its topic will be the Nutri-Score food label system. We will be discussing its influence on the agricultural and processing industry and the consequences of possible wide-scale implementation of the system.

The European Commission has undertaken the activities in order to introduce the joint nutritional value labeling system on the front of pack (FOPNL). One of the solutions proposed is implementation of the Nutri-Score system which is present in several EU countries. It was invented by some French scientific institute and it gives products grades in form of colors from green to red and letters from A to E. According to multiple representatives of the industry, experts and doctors, the system is based on the criteria that are disadvantageous for agricultural, natural, regional, local, traditional and ecological products, namely those which have high nutritional value in the opinion of dieticians.

Such products are for example: juices, oils and olives, honeys, ripening cheeses and fish products that are often popularized within EU programs regarding regional, local, ecological or geographical-origin-indicated agricultural products.

Considering the above, particularly severe effects of implementation of this label at front of pack can be felt by the Polish fruit and vegetable industry, as well as the dairy, meat and food oil industries, from farmers and growers to naturally processed food manufacturers. Local production is often the source of income for hundred of thousands of farmers and SMEs.

Why do some industry organizations and multiple experts think the Nutri-Score system is disadvantageous?

1) There is no such thing as good or bad food, there are only good or bad diets. This is why the holistic approach to food and nutrition is so important.

2) Successful diet is not based on specific food or nutritional ingredient, but on correct eating habits.

3) It is important to customize a diet and, subsequently, products to age, activeness and level of health in consumers, while a system of product assessment, unified for entire population, is not.

4) The Nutri-Score system releases consumers from responsibility by proposing products for purchase, while not encouraging them to better understand the rules of healthy nutrition and to assess product ingredients in order to make them prefer natural products with simple ingredients.

5) The Nutri-score system discriminates traditional and local diets developed on the basis of typical local products, such as cheeses, cold cuts, bread and local specials which are parts of cultural and social heritage of small and medium communities.

We will be discussing more on the Nutri-Score system and its influence on the industry during the nearest free-of-charge online conference on November 25, 2021 at 1 p.m., broadcast at the portalspozywczy.pl website. At this conference the representatives of the industry and the experts will say more on the system itself, as well as on its influence on economy and consumption and the entire nutritional profile in case of implementation of the system. This is a serious challenge for our agricultural and processing industry. You are welcome to join the conference as active members.

Invited panelists:

• Julian Pawlak, President of Polish Association of Juice Producers (KUPS).

• Witold Boguta, PhD, President of National Council of the Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers

• Marian Sikora, Chairman of Federation Council of Agricultural Producer Industry Associations

• Joanna Olszak, advisor on nutritional law at IGI Food Consulting

• Associate Professor Dariusz Włodarek, dietician and nutrition expert and Head of Food Science Chair of the Human Nutrition Institute at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences

• The panel will be moderated by Roman Wieczorkiewicz, journalist from the portalspozywczy.pl website

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