France Issues Law Increasing Transparency of Information on Agricultural and Food Products

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July 9, 2020Patricia IscaroBlog

On 11 June 2020 France issued a new law requiring additional transparency of information for agricultural and food products. France's Consumer Code is amended to reflect these changes.

Verisk 3E Review

Law 2020-699 of 10 June 2020 on the transparency of information on agricultural and food products amends France's Consumer Code regarding the provision of product information to the public for agricultural products and prepackaged foodstuffs by providing that all information relating to these products must be made freely available to the public on-line by the responsible party placing the product on the market.

Law 2020-699 specifically requires a country of origin indication on the labels of cocoa, raw or processed and for royal jelly. Labels for honey composed of a mixture of honeys from more than one EU member state, or from a third country, must list all of the countries of origin in descending order by weight. The new labeling requirements for these three foods will become effective on 1 January 2021. Products legally produced or marketed before this date with labeling that is not in conformance with these new requirements may be sold or distributed until inventory is exhausted.

The law also requires dining establishments to provide an indication of the country of origin for dishes containing beef. Dining establishments selling wine must provide a designation of the protected geographical origin of wine whether sold by the bottle, pitcher, or glass. The effective date for the requirement concerning wine is 1 June 2020. 

The law adds a new article to the Consumer Code prohibiting the use of names used to designate food of animal origin to describe, market or promote food containing vegetable proteins.

Law 2020-699 contains additional provisions which amend the Consumer Code concerning transparency and the dissemination of information for agricultural products and foodstuffs.

Verisk 3E Analysis

Law 2020-699 affects producers of agricultural products and pre-packaged foodstuffs as well as distributors and retailers. The law becomes effective upon publication however the effective dates of certain provisions of the law are specifically defined.