Scottish cookie company to adopt traffic light labelling

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Fsa

Paterson Arran claims to be the first manufacturer in Scotland
to use the Food Standard Agency's traffic light labelling
system on its products.

The company will use the labels on its new range of organic, low fat cookies. The FSA's voluntary system uses red, amber and green colour coding to provide information on foods that have high, medium or low amounts of saturated fats, sugars and salts. Alan Hardie, Paterson Arran's managing director, claimed that the labels will help market the cookies to consumers seeking quick but accurate nutritional information. "Organic, diet and health products have witnessed a real growth in demand in recent years with consumers seeking out balanced diets, healthier food choices, transparency in labelling and ingredients,"​ he said. "We have adopted the FSA labelling system to help consumers make quick, informed decisions about their food purchases and understand the nutritional value of their food" ​The move will be welcomed by the FSA, which has struggled to convince many manufacturers to adopt the system since proposing it in 2004. George Paterson, FSA Scotland director, said: "We are delighted to see that Paterson Arran is the first Scottish food manufacturer to adopt the FSA's front of pack labelling scheme. This will make it easier for consumers to make healthier food choices."​ Other companies who have adopted the scheme include Waitrose, Sainsbury's, the Co-op, M&S, McCain, the New Covent Garden Food Company and Moy Park, according to the FSA website. However several other manufacturers have rejected the traffic light colour scheme, arguing that it is confusing for consumers and does not provide accurate nutritional information. In March, Danone, Kellogg's, Kraft, Nestle and PepsiCo and retailers Tesco and Morrisons joined together to launch a £4m campaign to promote guideline daily amount (GDA) labels. The GDA system tells consumers the percentage of the adult male Guideline Daily Amount of the four key nutrients that each product contains, and so will allow consumers to 'make better-informed decisions about the food they eat'. Food law experts at Eversheds agreed with these manufacturers, warning that the FSA's refusal to listen to the food industry would lead various confusing labelling systems. Paterson Arran will use the traffic light labeling on its new Bronte Organic range of cookies, first sold at the opening of Whole Foods in London earlier this month. Suitable for vegetarians, the range is nut and GM-free recipe and contains organic ingredients including sunflower oil, milk chocolate chips, honey, rolled oats and golden syrup, the company claims. The cookies are also environmentally friendly, the company said. They are packaged using 90 per cent recycled cardboard and are palm-oil free.

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