Shortage of raw materials

Temporary changes in revenue and labeling exemptions: what you need to know

Publié le null - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Faced with difficulties in the supply of certain products (sunflower oil, eggs and poultry), the Ministry of Economy temporarily authorizes the agri-food and cosmetics industries to modify their recipes without changing the packaging of the product. How can the consumer be informed about the change of recipe? Where can I find a list of products whose recipes have been changed?

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Image 1Crédits: © Thomas Coex / AFP

The crisis in Ukraine and Russia is causing difficulties in the supply of certain products, and in particular of sunflower oil, which is used in many foodstuffs produced by the food industry. Since April 26, 2022, the Ministry of Economy has authorized manufacturers to replace sunflower oil with other ingredients in their recipes, without changing their packaging, for up to six months. These derogations shall be reviewed after three months.

Since July 13, 2022, the ConsoWaiver launched by the DGCCRF is being extended to cosmetic products.

Due to the avian flu epidemic, manufacturers offering egg or poultry products have supply difficulties, the DGCCRF has authorized them since the end of August to derogate from certain labeling obligations for a maximum period of 3 months from the date of authorization of the application.

Derogations from labeling on the composition of products are possible for a limited period of time provided that this does not affect consumer safety, in particular in the event of allergies, in the event of proven difficulties in the supply of raw materials and that the labeling of the product is adapted to inform consumers of the change in recipe.

Manufacturers must apply to the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) for a temporary change of recipes and a labeling waiver via the exemption request form.

Informing the consumer of the change of recipe

In order to inform consumers of the change of recipe, manufacturers must explicitly and visibly indicate this on the packaging. At a minimum, the term ‘DEROG’ (for derogation) shall be placed close to the use-by date.

The indication of the change of recipe shall be immediate and stated directly on the product in a visible and legible manner, in the following cases:

  • addition of an allergen such as soya (via the introduction of soya lecithin) and peanut (via the introduction of peanut oil) or gluten;
  • addition of a GMO ingredient;
  • if the packaging contains an environmental claim, such as ‘palm oil-free’, ‘GMO-free’, ‘GMO-free’ or ‘organic’, ‘raised without antibiotic treatments’, ‘raised outdoors’, which would no longer be respected due to the change of recipe.

“Consumers with allergies are thus encouraged to check, at the time of purchase, at the marking on the front or near the list of ingredients, that the recipe for their usual products has not changed,” advises the DGCCRF.

The substitutions envisaged in cosmetic products relate only to vegetable oils which do not contain allergens regulated in cosmetics.

Where can I find a list of products whose recipes have been changed?

If you want to know which products and brands are affected by a recipe change, you can consult the open source database on the DGCCRF website. You will find a complete list of products whose recipes have been modified and which benefit from a temporary labeling exemption. You can search for a product by name, brand, barcode, or category (radius).

You can download the full list products.

To ensure that consumers are fully informed, posters with a QR code referring to the database will be placed in stores on the shelves concerned by the derogations and at the entrance and at the ticket desks. E-commerce sites must also inform consumers about each relevant reference.