Origin ingredients and Made in. E.Leclerc, a leader in French retail, takes the field


On ingredient origin labeling and Made in, the French retail leader also takes the field. With a blog article by Monsieur Michel-Eduard E.Leclerc, president as well as son of the founder, on 27.11.19. Just two weeks after Intermarché launched the Franco-Score. This triggers a battle for transparency on the label, which benefits consumers and transalpine supply chains.

Par-dessus le marché la lisibilité renforcée des indications d’origine permettra aux consommateurs de mieux arbitrer leurs choix, et notamment d’exercer une préférence nationale puisque toutes les enquêtes confirment leur intention d’acheter local, régional ou made in France‘ (Michel-Eduard Leclerc, 27.11.19)

EU Regulation 2018/775 and the grandeur of French large-scale retail trade compared

Reg. EU 2018/775, as noted above, merely requires the indication of the different origin or provenance of the primary ingredient alone (>50%, or characteristic ingredient), when different from the country of origin of the product boasted on the label. With such vague modalities-‘EU’ or ‘non-EU’ origin, even ‘EU/non-EU’-that it deserves the appellation ‘Planet Earth Origin’ regulation.

In contrast, the indication of origin of ingredients adopted on a voluntary basis by the two French retail giants far exceeds the bland European rules:

Intermarché specifies the percentage share of ingredients of French origin and provenance in the total recipe, with the Franco-Score logo. With detail, even, on the French region of origin of the product. Fully operational by the first half of 2020,

E.Leclerc, as early as 1.1.20 will ensure full transparency on the origin or provenance of the main ingredients of branded products. French wheat, German milk, Polish meat or Turkish hazelnuts, all in evidence. In addition to Made in, the country of production.

E.Leclerc, the leader of transparency

The first large-scale retail (supermarket) group in France, E.Leclerc holds 21.6 percent of the national market share (data 20.11.19, Kantar WorldPanel). Market and transparency leader, on origin and nutritional properties:

the new origin label will be applied immediately to products in the Marque Repère, Nos régions ont du Talent, L’origine du goût and Tradizioni d’Italia lines. Until it is extended to the entirety of the MDD (distributor brand),

the Nutri-Score is also applied on the labels of all branded(private label) products.

Italy-Europe-France, origin and sustainability goals.

Coop Italy, on closer inspection, has been reporting the origin of the main raw materials used in its branded products for about 20 years (on its website at https://www.e-coop.it/cooporigini). It is perhaps just less effective in direct communication, on this as on other laudable initiatives (such as most recently theremoval of glyphosate from branded fruit and vegetables)

– the European consumer initiative that has collected 1.1 million signatures – should lead to a proposal for an EU regulation in the coming months. To introduce permanently and across the board the duty to indicate Made in and origin or provenance of primary ingredients on the labels of all food products placed in the Internal Market.

Pending new rules, consumers still favor products that come from short, fair and sustainable supply chains. All the better if organic. As confirmed by the Immagino 2018, Coop and Sana 2019 reports.

He who has good ears to hear, let him hear!

Dario Dongo and Marta Strinati

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.