Now, for the first time in its history, the consumer organisation foodwatch has more than 20,000 supporting members. This number has more than doubled in the past five years. More and more people are joining foodwatch because they know that consumers must join together if they hope to assert their interests against the food industry.
foodwatch’s aim for the coming year is to broaden its focus to include more European countries. A Europe-wide consumer movement as a counterweight to the food industry lobby is essential because most of the laws governing the food sector are passed at the EU level. Currently, foodwatch has offices in Germany and the Netherlands.
Director Thilo Bode founded foodwatch in 2002 in reaction to the BSE crisis. Since then the organisation has been advocating for consumer rights and food safety – with tangible results. foodwatch sheds light on abuses, from cases of legal consumer fraud to the investigation of illegal smuggling operations for meat and bone meal. And this campaign work has scored many successes: for example, Germany’s first mandatory limit on uranium in drinking water has come into effect, and fast-food corporation McDonald’s was forced to discontinue a misleading advertising campaign. Currently foodwatch is focusing on industrial food production; once a year, it awards the “Golden Cream Puff” for the most blatant case of misleading labelling or advertising. foodwatch is an independent membership organisation that finances itself primarily through membership fees, along with individual donations and funding from foundations. Any consumer can become a member by paying a membership fee of at least 5 euros per month (60 euros per year).