Labelling laws the focus of food and drink network event

Food and drink producers are being given invaluable advice and guidance around food labelling to ensure they’re complying with strict European and UK legislation.

Durham Food and Drink Network has organised an event to give micro and small businesses a better understanding of how products must be labelled.

The event, open to any business in County Durham which sells or produces food, for example retailers, caterers and manufacturers, will look at the impact the legislation, Food Information Regulations for Consumers (EUFIC), which came into force in 2014, is having on food labelling.

It is being held at Ushaw College on Thursday, February 14, from 8.30am to 12 noon. To book your place email info@durhamfdn.co.uk.

Steve Robson is from South Durham Enterprise Agency, one of three enterprise agencies which jointly manage the Durham Food and Drink Network.

He said: “Food labelling is a complex area which affects businesses that sell food to the public, as well as those small outlets that sell things like cakes, sandwiches, pickles or jams, pies or other meats, whether they’re packaged or not.

“The course aims to give attendees a broad overview of UK and European laws around how products are labelled to ensure they know what’s required so they don’t fall foul of what are pretty strict guidelines.

“Food labelling is one of many themes we’ll be focussing on over the coming months as we work with producers across the county to give them the support they need to get their products to market.”

Durham Food and Drink Network is being jointly delivered by South Durham Enterprise Agency, East Durham Business Service and CDC Enterprise Agency, as part of Business Durham’s Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP), funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

It has been created to enable small food and drinks businesses in County Durham who are keen to get their products to market to tap into a structured programme of intensive support.

Sarah Slaven, Operations Director at Business Durham said: “The food industry is a significant contributor to County Durham’s economic prosperity, however there are still many barriers that exist which are preventing some of our smaller producers making the impact which their products have the potential to achieve.  I would encourage companies in the sector to take advantage of the support on offer and make the most of the business opportunities in the food and drink sector.”

Following the network’s launch in December, the first companies have been identified to access support.

Durham Food and Drink Network will offer businesses the opportunity to take a minimum of 12 hours of support, some of which is funded and some of which must be paid for by the businesses themselves – however subsidised rates will be applied when businesses are making contributions.

The programme will look at various areas which are perceived as constraints to growth, as well as opportunities which exist for producers to target new markets. These include:

  • Marketing
  • Access to networks
  • Talent attraction
  • Logistics and distribution
  • Labelling
  • Production equipment
  • Access to funding

The aim is to make sure that only those businesses that are serious about taking their products to market sign up.

To find out more about the programme visit durhamfdn.co.uk.

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