Another foodwatch office in Europe! We are thrilled to announce the launch of foodwatch Austria. From now on, foodwatch will report on the Austrian food market, campaign against food fraud and hold companies as well as governmental institutions responsible for the label jungle in Austrian supermarkets. With the new office in Vienna, foodwatch now advocates consumer’s rights in four countries: Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
foodwatch Austria will focus on three core topics: food fraud, origin labelling and the Nutri-Score.
Food fraud in the supermarket
Misleading information on food packaging is not the exception but the rule. Manufacturers use a variety of tricks to make their products look fresher and more appealing – ultimately to enhance sales. This long-lasting foodwatch campaign is now also part of the Austrian agenda. The Austrian foodwatch team is calling for clear legal requirements to enforce understandable product information in Austria and across the European Union.
The Austrian team has set up a platform (www.dasregtmichauf.at), to support that cause: Uncovering legal food fraud and confronting food manufacturers with identified, misleading practices.
Misleading origin labelling of products
In Austria, a common case of food fraud used by producers is to advertise products with red and white flags to suggest their Austrian origin. The producers know that consumers often prefer products with regional provenance. The problem: many ingredients are often coming from somewhere outside Austria and are just processed there. Their true origin does not have to correspond with what is advertised.
It must become a matter of course that consumers receive unambiguous information about the origin of a product and its ingredients.
foodwatch Austria is calling for a clear, easy to understand origin labelling of products and its ingredients independent of their processing status.
Nutri-Score – traffic light for more balanced food choices
The Nutri-Score is a nutritional front of pack label based on the traffic light system. It is the most comprehensible model on the market and it helps consumers to evaluate how balanced a food product is. The Nutri-Score is gaining ground in Europe. However, in Austria as well as in other countries, it still has a long way to go to become a market standard.
foodwatch Austria is calling for an EU-wide mandatory front-of-pack labelling of food with the nutritional label Nutri-Score.
The Austrian Team
Two experienced colleagues have jointly established foodwatch Austria: Heidi Porstner and Lisa Kernegger. Having worked for the Austrian environmental protection organisation Global 2000 for ten years, both of them are well reputed in the Austrian NGO world. As experienced campaigners, Heidi and Lisa know how to drive political change and get companies to rethink. Now, they campaign for consumer rights in the Austrian food sector and keep a close eye on both industry and politics.