Rules to be bent on allergen labelling

Southern hemisphere wine producers are to be given extra time to comply with new EU rules on allergen labelling.

New rules are due to come into force in May which could have led producers harvesting grapes and bottling wine in the first half of 2009 facing conflicting labelling requirements for the same batch of wine.

It could have cost producers thousands of pounds to change labels part of the way through a production run.

But LACORS – the co-ordinating body for local authorities – has agreed that food law enforcement officers should take a pragmatic approach and given southern hemisphere producers some latitude over compliance, after lobbying by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: “We’re pleased the regulators are adopting a flexible approach.

“What may seem like a small step to some actually has huge implications for southern hemisphere wine producers.

“They shouldn’t have to pay a penalty because their production timetable happens to coincide with the current enforcement date for allergen labelling.”