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The production plant and site are back on the label

More information and improved traceability of products by watchdogs from April 2018

The legislative decree according to which the site of the production plant must be reported again on food labels was published on Italy’s Official Gazette on 7th October. A great victory for consumers and for all industrial and artisan companies that kept on reporting the information despite the fact that it was no longer mandatory since December 2014. Now users will be more aware of their choices, as they will be able to identify even the origin of the food packaged under the brand of big retailers or industrial groups. There will be considerable benefits also in terms of health and safety. Indeed, as reported in the decree, the changes aim at guaranteeing “correct and complete information for the consumer and the traceability of food by watchdogs, as well as health protection”.

The regulation envisaged a transition period of 180 days to allow companies to finish the old labels, after which they will need to mention the production plant site and also the packaging site, if they differ. In case of violations, there will be fines up to 15,000 euros.

There are some exceptions to the mandatory requirement related to specific types of products and other exceptions that ensure the free circulation of goods guaranteed by European law.

The decree has a number of positive aspects, even though one needs to consider that the indication of the plant is in no way connected with the origin and the quality of the raw material used by the company. Costs are another critical point that will need to be tackled: national operators that will need to bring themselves in line with the new requirements will inevitably face additional costs and charges which, as a result, might cause the price of products to increase.


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