The Food Chain Analysis Network (FCAN) is an OECD expert group specialised in food systems’ analysis. The FCAN explores issues related to gathering and analyzing data on food systems with a view to informing multi-country dialogue and supporting the development of better policies.
The Food Chain Analysis Network works with the Secretariat in developing a common understanding of simplified nutritional food labelling schemes
In 2021, the FCAN will assist the OECD Secretariat in developing a common understanding of simplified nutritional food labelling policies given the rapid proliferation of these schemes across the world. At the recent FCAN meeting held on 24 June 2021 country food policy experts shared their national experiences of policy making in this area focussing on the how to develop coherent policies and on knowledge gaps and good practices to address these gaps.
Experts provided insights on three overarching questions related to the schemes:
- Efficiency: What are the labels’ impacts in enabling changes in behaviour across food systems? Which information base is needed to measure these impacts?
- Definition, implementation and monitoring process: How can food systems’ stakeholders and consumers be involved? How can governance be organised? Which accompanying measures are needed?
- Potential need for harmonization: What are the potential impacts of such schemes on trade? How could more consistency be achieved?
FCAN discussions on how to effectively implement simplified nutritional food labelling policies, highlighted the need to breakdown silos among government agencies, private sector actors and consumers to enable policy coherence across the food system.
Taking such an approach enhances understanding of the practicalities of implementing labelling schemes. Coordinating can also help with resolving data gaps associated with measuring the efficiency of the schemes on changing consumer behaviour, as different actors have access to different data. Considering international trade implications is important too.
To explore the three themes in more depth the Secretariat has developed a questionnaire that 14 countries have volunteered to complete by September. National stakeholders’ consultations will be organised virtually in October and November 2021.
The FCAN will meet again 2-3 December 2021 to discuss the preliminary results from this information collection phase.