ShelfNow co-founders Philip Linardos and Sajid Ghani
With the implementation of Natasha’s Law pending for 1 October 2021, ShelfNow, Europe’s first intelligent B2B online marketplace, has revealed how its partners are preparing for the changes in food regulation.
Following the passing of the new law in September 2019, ShelfNow has continued to work closely with its producer and buyer partners ahead of the introduction of the new legislation. Launched in 2019, ShelfNow connects small, artisan food and drink producers with independent buyers from the hospitality and retail sectors to help build new relationships and facilitate an easier, smoother way of trading.
From Cafés to Delis, ShelfNow has seen its partners introduce a raft of new measures in recent months in anticipation of the new legislation which will take effect from 1 October 2021. Alongside long standing Retail Packaged Goods labelling, additional product labelling, product signage and menu allergen labels have all been introduced to improve transparency and avoid any uncertainty for consumers as to allergen ingredients that have been used in food preparation. Staff training has also been stepped up to ensure that all front of house teams are briefed on menu changes and can speak with confidence about prepared goods and any allergen ingredients that have been used in certain products. Retail Packaged Goods are already subject to detailed allergen guidelines and where products have been used as component ingredients in finished dishes, allergen labelling is easier to transfer to customer notices and communicate to staff.
Philip Linardos, co-founder and CEO of ShelfNow, said: “At ShelfNow we are dedicated to helping our producer and buyer partners grow. As well as championing these smaller brands and providing a platform for them to trade more easily than ever before, we are also passionate about offering our partners guidance and advice as their businesses continue to evolve and new industry developments take hold.
“Natasha’s Law is one such example and very soon it will present some of the most significant changes for the food and drink industry in recent years. Up to now, many smaller producers and buyers have felt left out of conversations between the government and the industry as a whole with many more feeling unsure as to what will soon be expected of them. With just a few weeks to go, it has never been more important for all F&B professionals to feel ready for the new regulations and understand what they will mean for their business.”
A recent survey commissioned by food data specialist firm GS1 UK found that eight in ten business owners feel unprepared for the new legislation which will be brought in as a result of Natasha’s Law. Within this number, only 48% of employees in small independent businesses were aware of Natasha‘s Law.
Designed to provide greater transparency for consumers, Natasha’s Law will require businesses to provide a full list of ingredients for prepacked foods with allergenic ingredients clearly labelled. The change in regulations was spearheaded following the tragic death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in 2016 from an allergic reaction caused by a prepacked baguette which, at the time, did not require allergen labelling.