1 Sept. 2021.  Four in ten across the food industry have never heard of Natasha’s law [regarding food labelling - https://natashas-law.com/] despite the new legislation coming into effect from 1 October.  

Around 50% more chain and franchise employees had heard of Natasha’s law than those in small independent food businesses. 

Eight in ten food business owners admitted they felt unprepared for the new food regulations coming into effect, despite 90 per cent saying they have received plenty of information about the new law.  

The new business research has been commissioned by GS1 UK – the global provider of interoperable standards which cover 90 per cent of UK retailers. The not-for-profit is leading the Feed us the Facts campaign for extra transparency from the entire food industry in order to protect people and businesses. 

Natasha’s law will require all food businesses to provide full ingredient lists and allergen information on foods pre-packaged for direct sale in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It follows the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse after she suffered an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette. 

The study of businesses – which include food manufacturers, wholesalers, grab and go retailers – found that 80 per cent of chains and franchise welcome more definitive and explanatory packaging whereas this figure was less than half amongst small independent businesses (39 per cent).  

What’s more, one fifth of small independent businesses feel the new legislation is coming in too soon and does not leave enough time to adapt, whereas just 2 per cent of food chains and franchises held this view.  

Small, independent food businesses boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic, with an estimated 44% of all food businesses launched during lockdown being home-based. Often selling though social media, fears have arisen that many are not registering as food businesses meaning local authorities cannot check hygiene and food standards.

[1] https://www.cieh.org/news/press-releases/2021/cieh-concerned-at-rise-of-lockdown-home-food-businesses/