Allegrini 2018

Wine, the term “natural” is a voluntary indication. No “European” definition coming

The indications of the EU Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides, reported by Federvini. “They evaluate the national authorities, case by case”
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Wine, the term “natural” is a voluntary indication. No “European” definition coming

In the end, about the use of the term “natural” applied to wine (and to food in general), every EU country makes and will make its own history. In the past months, the Agriculture Directorate of the EU Commission, also stimulated by the Unione Italiana Vini (UIV), had given a rather harsh opinion about this matter, by stressing that “the indication natural ‘wine’ can suggest the idea of a higher quality wine. There is, therefore, the risk that the use of the term ‘natural’ could mislead the consumer”. Now, reports Federvini, a new position has been taken by the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides in response to a letter signed by many MEPs who urged the European Commission to take action in order to safeguard correct information to consumers in the framework of the next initiatives that will be taken after the adoption of the From Farm to Fork Strategy.

Kyriakides stated, first of all, that the Commission does not consider the term “natural” neither as a nutritional claim, nor as a health claim according to EC Regulation n. 1924/2006. The term natural, according to the Commission, falls within the field of voluntary consumer information governed by article 36 of EU Regulation no. 1169/2011: as such it must be truthful, documentable and not misleading for the consumer, meeting the requirements set by article 7 of the same regulation. For this reason, the Commission does not consider it necessary at this time to adopt a European definition of the term “natural”, being more than sufficient the regulatory framework offered by the regulation on consumer information. And as for any other voluntary information to consumers, the lawfulness of the use of the term “natural” in the labeling and presentation of a food product, including wine, must be verified by national authorities case by case. “Because - as always argued by Federvini - every label makes history and as such it should be evaluated”.

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