Issues faced by small/medium businesses (SMEs) when implementing the Food Information to Consumers (FIC) labelling requirements (Regulation (EU) 1169/2011)
Webb, Nancy Elizabeth
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Regulation EU 1169/2011 Food Information to Consumers (FIC) was introduced in 2011. All aspects had to be integrated fully into all food businesses despite their size throughout the UK by December 2016. Issues faced by small/medium enterprises (SMEs) with implementing FIC compared with those of large businesses were deemed to be far greater due to their circumstances within the industry (Bremmers, 2012). Qualitative data on the issues faced by SMEs was collected through an unstructured interview of open-ended questions and a questionnaire (McLeod, 2014). The sample was purposively sampled; the company interviewed was known to the researcher and the participants of the questionnaires were taken from the Welsh Food and Drink Directory 2015/2016 (Creswell et al, 2007). One interview was conducted followed by the distribution of seventy one questionnaires, thirteen responses were received back. The main themes found from this research were the financial burden of implementing new labelling requirements, difficulty with nutritional labelling, time, the importance of informing the consumer through labelling and the lack of knowledge that SMEs had to introduce this large piece of legislation. Sub themes arising from the questionnaire responses and the interview were costs, where they found guidance and how they dealt with implementing FIC altogether. SMEs overall found implementing FIC ‘neither easy nor difficult’ (Q21 of questionnaire); and had to be resourceful to achieve the labelling requirements of FIC.
BSc (Hons) Food Science and Technology
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