The commitment, agreed by The Brewers of Europe and the EU commission, currently has 37 signatories, including 25 national brewers' associations
Trade group The Brewers of Europe has made a consumer labelling commitment through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the EU.
The targets, which were voluntarily agreed with the European Commission and adopted by the General Assembly of the Brewers of Europe in June, will see the labelling of ingredients and energy values on all beer bottles and cans across the EU by 2022.
The purpose of the MoU makes companies take public responsibility for the declaration of ingredients and energy information on the labels of their products.
A total of 37 initial signatories, including 25 national brewers’ associations, put their name towards the bill. The British Beer and Pub Association, that country’s largest drinks and hospitality trade association has signed up regardless of ongoing Brexit negotiations.
Addressing those present at the signing, the European commissioner for health and food safety Vytenis Andriukaitis said: “I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you for your [the signatories] commitments to alcohol labelling.
“And I also want to encourage you to continue being a pioneer around this issue in the wider alcohol sector.
“Consumers have a right to know more. Many of them want more details on what their drinks contain and what it means for their health.
“They want this information to be clear and transparent – a recurrent message we receive in all our public health and food safety work.”
Progress made in consumer labelling by brewers in Europe.
Over the course of the past four years, a number of brewers on the continent have already started to include ingredient and energy labelling on products.
Of the beers on sale in Europe, 60% already have calorie labelling, while 85% carry an ingredients list.
Secretary-general of Eurocare, a network of voluntary and non-governmental organisations working on the prevention and reduction of alcohol-related harm across Europe, Mariann Skar said: “The main thing is to have information clearly displayed on the labels.
“We hope that by providing more information at least gives people a choice. We are praising the brewers because the information is on the label.
“Having off-label ingredients and calories, online, is just not good enough.”
The MoU is open to companies and associations from all alcoholic beverage sectors provided they fully endorse the agreement and its commitment to the on-pack labelling of both ingredients and energy values.
British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Consumers want more details on what their beer contains and are conscious about calories too.
“They also want this information to be clear and transparent. In signing this memorandum of understanding, we are encouraging our members to display more information about calorie values and ingredients on cans and bottles of beer.”
The Brewers of Europe president Pavlos Photiades said: “I am delighted that EU health commissioner Andriukaitis has attended the official signing of the MoU and our Brewers’ Ambition 2022.
“This is a significant step in a process we started four years ago, demonstrating our members’ ambition to ensure all beers label ingredients and calories.
“Fulfilling this commitment, Europe’s brewing sector is meeting the expectations of consumers on how alcoholic beverages should be providing ingredients and calorie information”