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Legal responsibility for labels on private label products


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EQA

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 10:38 AM

Hi,

 

We are a BRC accreditated facility and we have started to produce some private label products that have already been produced in other facilities. We are just wondering about who is responsible for labels etc. in terms of legality if we are being given the packaging / labels from our customers to put on the product. If there is a problem, who is responsible is it us as producer or the private label brand?

 

Thanks a million, any feedback would be appricated! 



Giu

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 11:33 AM

Good question!  I'd like to know the answer to this too ...... :sleazy:



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Posted 15 November 2016 - 04:18 PM

so here is the way we roll with private label labels

it is up to the owner of the label to ensure and verify that they comply with the regulation of the country where the product is sold. It is our responsibility to ensure that when the labels arrive they are not missing any required information.....we do not verify against that countries regulations only our own


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


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Charles.C

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 11:01 PM

Hi EQA,

Yr query has come up before here for UK (and 2 other locations). For UK the [tentative] answer, after a lot of discussion was that based on from memory some FSA "Guidances", in certain circumstances it seemed you might have some legal liability.

One answer from a protection POV was "insurance".


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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redfox

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 07:38 AM

Hello EQA,

 

At a first glance, it seems as packer you don't have liability. But if we see it deeper, you as packer has moral and legal liability to the country and to the end user/consumer. Lets go to the extreme: Ex: You know the net weight of the product is only 15 oz but the label is 16 oz. Your client insists on putting it on the product and you do. I think your moral and legal liability to the consumer is you connive with your client to mislead and cheat the consumers.

 

regards,

redfox



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Charles.C

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 08:34 AM

Hello EQA,

 

At a first glance, it seems as packer you don't have liability. But if we see it deeper, you as packer has moral and legal liability to the country and to the end user/consumer. Lets go to the extreme: Ex: You know the net weight of the product is only 15 oz but the label is 16 oz. Your client insists on putting it on the product and you do. I think your moral and legal liability to the consumer is you connive with your client to mislead and cheat the consumers.

 

regards,

redfox

 

Yes, something like the above.

 

In the UK, from the POV of safety and probably legality etc, etc, the issues are afaik lumped under the rather unassuming title of "due diligence" (and responsibilities to the consumer thereof).


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Ian R

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 09:48 AM

Hi EQA

 

From the UK legislation, the Food Business Operator under who's name or business name the food is marketed is responsible for the food information. In this case the label, but applies to all the information.

If the food business is not established in the EU then it is the importer who is responsible.

 

A food operator who does not affect the food information, i.e. a retailer, packer or co manufacturer shall not supply food

"which they know or presume, on the basis of the information in their possession as professionals, to be non-compliant with the applicable food information law and requirements"

 

​Under the UK legislation the owner of the brand is responsible for the accuracy of the information on the label.

​But any one producing or even selling on behalf of another company has a responsibility to check that the information meets the legislation.

You do not have to produce the info, but should be checking.

 

regards



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Charles.C

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 10:11 AM

And here is one of the previous threads i referred to in Post 4 -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...l-declarations/


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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FurFarmandFork

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 03:52 PM

If your private label customer is large, they usually have a manual/supplier contract. Check there for liability. Most of the "big guys" push liability onto the manufacturer, even if they created the labels.

 

Ultimately, always review labels you're going to produce unless you are a true "contract manufacturer" and you are completely removed from the label creation and review process. If they involve you in any way, look for compliance and if they want to make sketchy decisions, get your objections/comments in writing.

 

Legal fees from class actions for sketchy claims (that marketers love, and want to push since it's "their brand" until something goes wrong) are super spendy even if you win. Get your objections/review in writing so that if they overrule you and pressure you to agree to get the contract, you can use that to push any liability back on them.


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 03:58 PM

Hi Earth,

 

IIRC from the older thread discussion, the UK Big Boys require their copackers to have insurance up-front as part of the initial contract. Due Diligence Reigns.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Leila Burin

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 10:47 AM

Regarding on BRC: check:

5.2.4
Where the label information is the responsibility of a customer or a nominated third party the company shall provide:
information to enable the label to be accurately created
information whenever a change occurs which may affect the label information.
Interpretation Third-party label design
This clause is applicable wherever the decision on pack copy is not controlled by the company but is the responsibility of the customer or a nominated third party.
In these circumstances the site is responsible for supplying accurate information on which label creation can be based. A system must therefore be in place to transfer all the relevant initial information to the customer and for ensuring that any changes are communicated in a timely manner.


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Posted 18 November 2016 - 02:36 PM

hi Leila,

 

Thks for the above which I assume is an extract from BRC Guidelines. Hopefully a complete one.

 

Unfortunately, as per the Thread Title, the Guidance appears to avoid any mention of the Legal Responsibility. This is implicit in 5.2/5.2.1 ("shall" x3).

 

From a UK (and possibly EC) POV, I suggest a review/comparison of the previously linked threads which also expand/reference the text in Post 7.

 

In the event of any subsequent safety-related incident, afaik the legal culpability (or Defence thereof) for UK revolves around (evidence of)  Due Diligence. Other locations may likely vary.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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