Producers that sign up to the MoU will commit to on-pack ingredients labelling and energy values as well as detailed product-specific information online, making it easier for consumers to see what is in their drinks.
The voluntary MoU was facilitated by the European Commission and has been discussed by Government and manufacturers since before March 2018.
According to EU predictions, ingredients and calorie information will be labelled on a quarter of spirits bottles on the EU market by 2020, rising to 50% in 2021 and 66% by 2022, Pernod Ricard said in a statement.
Indicate raw materials
It is also believed producers will provide more details about their products online, “going above and beyond existing legislative obligations, committing to indicate raw materials for all mono raw material spirits categories and vodka”, said the statement.
“We are proud about the unique and pioneering commitment signed today by the European spirit producers which will provide consumers with the information they are looking for,” Christian Porta, president of spiritsEUROPE, said following the announcement on 4 June.
“Calorie information will appear on the bottles and we’ll keep developing comprehensive ingredients and nutritional information through easy-to-use online tools for our customers so they are further empowered to make informed and responsible choices,” he added.
“The text agreed provides European distillers with the necessary clarity and guidance to implement the agreed rules within a highly ambitious timeline,” he concluded.
‘Want to be better informed’
EU health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said: “We live in a time where consumers increasingly want to be better informed about what they eat and drink so they can make healthier choices.
“I am therefore pleased that the spirits sector makes a leap forward providing Europeans with that very possibility.
"I understand that many companies and associations had to get around the table to come up with the plan.
“I congratulate the sector for these efforts and call on all producers to implement the MoU’s provisions along the agreed parameters and timeline.”