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Pet food labels: transparency, clarity and accuracy

2021/11/14

Pet food labels have many similarities to food labels and the rules to follow are precise.

In 2018, the University of Padua conducted a study, published in BMC Veterinary Research, in which they examined the labels of 40 packs of dog and cat food made from a single type of meat. 

Of these 40 packs, only 10 contained food that actually conformed to the label claims.  Of the remainder, 5 did not contain the protein of the animal species claimed and 2 labels were so generic that evaluation was impossible. The remaining 23 foods claimed to contain meat from one species when in fact they contained animal proteins from different species (pork, chicken and turkey). 

At the end of the study, the Padua researchers found that 13 of the 14 brands analysed had at least one mislabelled product. 

Pet food labels are often unclear in terms of images, text, quantity of highlighted ingredients, the name of the products and their components, and the validity of nutrition and health claims. Pet food labels have many similarities to food labels and the rules are precise. Dog and cat food, as well as food for livestock (chickens, pigs, cattle...) must comply with the criteria set out in Regulation (EC) 178/2002, the so-called General Food (and Feed) Law; it must respect the hygiene and health requirements contained in Regulation (EC) 183/05 and the rules on labelling governed by Regulation (EC) 767/2009. In addition to these references, it is necessary to consider the Code of Good Practice for pet food labelling, adopted by the European Pet Food Industry Association (Fediaf), and formally ratified by the European Commission, which integrates to all intents and purposes the current EU regulations.

When it comes to packaging artwork and label composition, we at 4Pack can do a lot, helping to ensure correct data and facilitating workflow, approvals, matching translations and ingredient quantities. We can avoid the errors highlighted by Great Italian Food Trade who found that in the "LeChat Fresh Chicken and Rice" cat food line, the composition on the label is different to that presented on the manufacturer's website and even the product names are misleading. 

4Pack brings immediate results to packaging: -90% reduction in costs and +80% speed of updates. These are interesting values to take into account, especially for companies that are oriented towards the international market.

See how 4Pack has already helped Wonderfood successfully manage its increasingly complex product range, with 16 brands and translations in 18 local languages. 

If you want to successfully develop your pet product export project, ask for more information or an initial consultation by filling in the form. 

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