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Do you know about Turkey’s new food labelling laws?

Turkey’s regulators are helping manufacturers get to grips with new rules on food labelling. 

New food and drink labelling laws hit Turkey

Terms such as “real” or “genuine” have been banned, and manufacturers are no longer allowed to make additive-specific free-from claims, such as “no palm oil”.

This comes after Turkey moving its Food Codex Regulation on Labelling and Food Information to Consumers (FIC) with Europe’s food labelling guidelines. The latest version of Turkey’s FIC was published in January 2017.

The Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock  has been in close collaboration with varying food associations and businesses for more than three years for guidance on the new regulations. At the tail end of July 2017, it published additional notes in its FIC outlining the changes to additive-specific packaging claims.

The new regulations’ end goal is to protect Turkish consumers from misleading practices and – crucially for companies exporting to Turkey – avoid any trade barriers due to improper labelling.

“Real” and “genuine” banned from Turkey labelling lexicon

Turkey’s new round of food labelling guidelines includes some aspects of note to all industry professionals.

For starters, the use of the claim “no additives” is permitted for a foodstuff where additives are normally allowed to be added. It is not allowed for use as a claim for a specific food additive. 

For example, a company claiming its products contained “no MSG” on its packaging would be in breach of the rules.

Restrictions are in place to reduce use of claims for the absence of specific ingredients, like “no palm oil”. Statements such as “no pork/lard” are allowed, due to sensitivity around pork and pork products in Turkey as the majority of its consumers identify as Muslim.

Any company claiming their products methods and ingredients are “traditional” must prove their processes have been used for at least 30 years to avoid breaking the regulations. The notes also strictly forbid the use of terms such as “real” and “genuine” for foodstuffs – so labels such as “real honey” are not allowed.

Manufacturers may only use words such as “original”, “the finest”, “premium”, “quality”, or “extra” to make a comparison within their own brand products. They are expressly not allowed to promote their product as directly better than a rival’s through label wording from here on out.

This latest batch of Turkish food regulations puts them more in line with those laid down in the EU’s own FIC document. Some have called them the most detailed such notes in the entire Middle East/North Africa region.

The full guidance notes can be found here (available in Turkish only).

Learn more about Turkish food and drink guidelines at WorldFood Istanbul

WorldFood Istanbul is Turkey’s premier food and drink event, connecting international and domestic players with the country’s biggest buyers, retailers, producers, and distributors.
Although it is the perfect venue to meet new suppliers, check out the latest food and drink products on the market, and network, it is much more than that. WorldFood Istanbul is very a meeting of the minds; a place to get insider market knowledge and pick up on the latest trends in the industry.

Interested in learning more? Contact our team today to get the lowdown.


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