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UK manufacturers of infant formula have committed to a new code of practice which aims to bring a uniformity of standards across the sector.
Developed by the British Specialist Nutrition Association – whose members include Danone, Nestlé and Cargill – the Infant Nutrition Industry (INI) code is designed to shed more light on how the UK infant nutrition industry operates and the high standards that can be expected from it.
The code will be regulated by an independent authority, which will investigate any complaints made and have the power to require any company found to be in breach of the code to take appropriate steps to correct it.
In a statement, the British Specialist Nutrition Association said the guidelines also cover areas such product quality, composition, safety, sales, marketing and clinical research.
The code is said to demonstrate the infant nutrition industry’s commitment to responsible marketing and transparency as per the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes 1981.
Director general of the British Specialist Nutrition Association Declan O’Brien said: “The INI code has been introduced to bring a clarity and uniformity of standards across the infant nutrition businesses. It has been modelled on the industry codes of other highly regulated industries, such as the ABPI code of practice for the pharmaceutical industry.
“This reflects the fact that the infant nutrition industry is one of the most tightly regulated food sectors in the world. Any complaint made against a company under the INI code will be regarded as a serious matter both by that company and by the industry as a whole.
“The INI Code of Practice Authority will require appropriate corrective action to be taken by any company found to be in breach of the INI code. In addition, the outcome of complaints will also be published on the BSNA website.”
Signatory companies will have three months to ensure that all their practices are in line with the new requirements. The complaints procedure will go live on 1 February 2019.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018