Achieving Compliance with Nutrition Labelling

If your business sells food products, it is required by legislation to comply with certain regulations, specifically the Regulation (EU) No, 1169/2011. This regulation covers any and all food information that you make available to your consumer in terms of your product label or other means such as accompanying material, advertising, website, verbal communication or modern technology tools.

Mandatory Information

There is a list of requirements to which all food manufacturers must adhere when creating their food security labels. These requirements cover everything from alcoholic strength and allergens to the name of the food, special storage conditions, country of origin and date of minimum durability, to name but a few.

In addition to declaring the above information, each piece of information also needs to meet requirements in terms of font size. The font for this information must be no less than 1.2mm in height, and must be in Times New Roman face in size 8. Smaller packages having a largest surface area of 80 square centimetres and a height of 0.9mm must also declare mandatory information in Times New Roman font, but at the size of 6.

Principal Field of Vision

All information must be located on packages in such a way as to be in the consumer’s principal field of vision. This is the part of the package most likely to be seen by the consumer when they first glance the product at the time of purchase. The principal field of vision is what allows the consumer to identify a product’s nature, brand name and similar characteristics. In some cases, a product may have more than one principal field of vision. In this instance, a single field of vision must be chosen. This choice falls to the discretion of the food business operator.

Food Product Producers can Volunteer Information

In addition to the mandatory information you must provide to your customers, you can also choose to volunteer information. You can choose to display this information in general or detailed format. The general format will communicate the energy value of your product, where the detailed format will allow you to list their energy, fat, saturate, sugar and salt content. Regardless of the format you choose, if you’re volunteering this information, you’ll also need to include a reference for the intake of your product per average adult.

Label Colours Matter

Regulations stipulate that all nutrition labelling in terms of salt, sugars, saturates and fat follow a ‘traffic light’ colour scheme of green, amber and red. These portions of nutrition security labels should appear only in vibrant colours, and not their pastel counterparts.

In terms of printing these lozenges, the other colours in use on the package, as well as the materials from which the packages material is made from will determine the printing process and colours used. Establishing which colours will be used involves much consideration in terms of how legible and clear the information will be in relation to that colour. And this will require adequate contrast between text and colours used.

Requirements also clearly state the percentage of the lozenge to be coloured, as well as how colour should be used. At least 1/3 of the lozenge is required to be coloured. As well, it is not acceptable to colour just numbers or words, or surround the lozenge with colour.


There are also guidelines in place for proper labelling of foods which may contain potential allergens. These guidelines require all food businesses to provide this information on all unpackaged food they sell. This covers food sold at deli counters, served on a catering basis, in sandwich bars and in bakeries.

In ensuring that your food security labels are not only permanent, but easily visible, clear and easy to read and understand, and not misleading, you help to inform the customer about their purchase.

Achieving RoHS Compliance with your Security Labels

Tightening industry standards and law and regulation changes on several levels have made it even more critical for companies to comply with new disclosure rules surrounding their products.

RoHS compliance is something that many companies struggle with; indeed, many company owners continue to wonder what RoHS is, let alone which products fall under it or which of their departments is best positioned to handle RoHS compliance. This article will attempt to shed some light.


RoHS, or Restrictions of Hazardous Substances covers usage restrictions for six materials in electronic and electrical equipment. These materials are considered to be very harmful to the environment. As such, RoHS aims to ensure that these substances are restricted from being used in the manufacture of products, or are properly collected and recycled if they do contain them. These materials are lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Any new equipment containing levels beyond those outlined in the RoHS are banned from the market.

No Specific Labelling Required

Manufacturers need not place their own marks on their products, as RoHS doesn’t require this. However, many companies continue to create their own labels, which has caused some confusion. Some of the more common RoHS compliance security labels are a tick mark or leaf symbol containing the compliance declaration. Many RoHS symbols currently in use are green in colour.

Companies apply their own labelling in order to make it easier for both the import and export of their products, as well as for selling. The RoHS compliance label allows products to make it to market more quickly, as well as increases confidence in the minds of consumers who purchase them.

The WEEE Connection

RoHS and WEEE are linked, as RoHS aims to reduce the amount of waste the electronics post-use industry produces, and WEEE is concerned with meeting collection, recycling and recovery targets. WEEE harmonises the reporting and registration obligations for electrics and electronics producers.

Product Packaging

Products whose packaging is discarded once the product has been purchased do not fall under RoHS regulations. However, if the packaging of a product is going to remain with that product or forms part of the product, it may be required to comply. However, compliance is not all-encompassing; each product will need to be assessed individually.

Where product packaging is concerned, the responsibility lies both on the shoulders of product suppliers and manufacturers, as well as on consumers. Suppliers and sellers of these products should either declare or be prepared to declare any potential hazardous substances their packaging may contain. Customers must make themselves aware of RoHS regulations and actively look for compliance labels, as well as any ingredients which may appear suspicious.

Why Comply?

The reason it’s so important to comply with RoHS is because the costs of non-compliance can be enormous. Severe penalties are in place for those who don’t comply. Some of these penalties include loss of right to sell products, the impounding of products and fines. Beyond this is the negative press and media coverage in relation to violations, as well as a related loss of market share.

The effects of non-compliance can reach well into the supply chain, right to suppliers who manufacture the components found in many products. This is causing many companies to execute due diligence and investigate their suppliers to confirm compliance. As result, companies are taking things a step further and showing their customers that due diligence has not only been carried out, but that the information about materials being used in their products has been obtained, selective analysis and sampling has been done, and declarations from suppliers about their components’ contents received.

Technology continues to advance, and its use increase. The costs to purchase technology continues to fall, and as it does, the idea of a disposable society becomes more acceptable. However, where does this leave our environment for future generations? It is this question that RoHS legislation aims to answer.

Getting Started with Label Templates

You may need to have labels printed, but maybe don’t require a large number of labels right now. This means you can print labels from home. If you’re interested in giving the printing of your own inkjet labels a go, the first thing you will need is a label template. The template can either be chosen or be created by you.

If you would rather choose your label template from the variety of existing shapes and sizes, you can locate your ideal label shape first, and then find appropriate label size for that shape by searching for the product you intend to label.

When downloading your label template, it’s best to save the file as opposed to opening it. This way, the file will be completely editable and able to be converted to other formats, something that simply opening the file will not allow you to do.

Avery Compatibility

It may be that there is an Avery brand template that you can use for your inkjet labels. But in order to be able to do this, you will need to have an Avery code. If it has one, your label software should contain a set of these codes, although these lists will differ by the label-making software being used.

Where to Begin

Once in your label creation software, you will notice that several labels may appear, each giving you the ability to enter information. The best place to begin entering text is into the label at the top left corner of the page. Once you’ve finished your design and are satisfied with it, you can simply click and drag over it to highlight, copy, and then right-click and choose “Paste” to paste the design into the remainder of labels.

Background and Foreground

If your labels will have an image in addition to the text, it’s advisable to begin with your background image. Ensure that it is faint enough to allow your text to be readable. You’ll also want to confirm the option for formatting and style for all layers that your label template will have.

Another thing to watch for is shifting. This can occur when some elements are too big for the size of the template. If you click off of your template and notice that elements of your labels appear to move, this is a sure sign that adjustments need to be made.

Don’t Print Unless You’ve Tested

It can take a lot of time and effort to design your perfect label. You may be tempted to print your labels right away so that you can see how they look. However, this can be a big risk, as the result may not look exactly like the labels look on the screen of your computer. The best alternative to potentially wasting a lot of labels is to test print them first.

When test printing, don’t use sheets of labels; a plain sheet of paper is best, as this will let you know whether you’ve achieved the proper alignment. Once printed, compare this sheet to your actual labels sheet by holding one up in front of the other. This will instantly tell you whether or not there are any alignment issues.

Mind the Margins

One common and annoying issue with printing labels in the office is that the label doesn’t sit in the centre. In fact, it may only be a few millimetres off in any direction. The good news is that this can be easily corrected by adjusting the margins until the label is sitting at the proper location.

Designing and printing your own labels can be a big job, especially if you’ve never taken this on before. When in doubt, you can get in touch with a professional printer, who may be able to advise you on the best steps to take for perfect labels.

Letterhead Design Made Easy

letterhead designYou may want new letterhead to go along with your new business. Or, your established business may be undergoing a re-brand. Whatever the case, you want a letterhead that gets attention for all of the right reasons. Your letterhead’s design can be a great marketing tool, telling recipients who you are and allowing them to engage with your brand as they read your correspondence.

A professional-looking letterhead not only impresses; it also gives the words in your communications credibility. It must also, however, contain all of the right details for attracting attention. As well, your letterhead must leave a lasting impression in addition to being attractive and having a tactile quality.

There’s no doubt that your letterhead must wear many hats. But just as with your inkjet labels, your letterhead must be able to clearly communicate your message. The tips below will help you to do just that.

Basic Tips

One of the most basic pieces of advice when creating any letterhead is not to over-complicate things. You may feel tempted to include several creative elements in your letterhead design, but doing this can quickly and easily overcrowd your document.

Instead, keep things as simple as you can. Your letterhead is there to help you deliver your message; it is not the message itself. If you aren’t sure if your letterhead is overpowering the actual content of the page, take a good look at it, and try and determine whether the letterhead and content appear to compete for your attention as you scan the page. If they do, it’s time to tone things down.


Does your letterhead accurately represent your company’s brand? Just like your product‘s inkjet labels, your letterhead should go beyond your logo to align with your brand in terms of imagery, fonts and colours, to name just a few. Your letterhead will be doing a great job of communicating your brand when your logo and colour scheme is being used effectively. One of the most important things to remember is that the font used in your letterhead should match that being used in your logo.


Who will be the most frequent users of your letterhead? If only one department in your company will be making use of it, considering including only that department’s email address or contact number. If being used by several departments, your letterhead is best if it lists a general email or phone number.

Don’t Distract with Colour

Colour is a great attention-getting tool. However, by using too much colour in the wrong areas of your letterhead, you risk your message being lost. A lot of colour is a great thing, but only in small bites. Placing those small bites near important letterhead sections will draw attention and communicate a specific message, as well as reinforce your branding.

Change Direction

Another way to stand out from the rest of the letterheads out there is to look at its elements. Would they be more effective and attention-getting if they were spaced differently than normal? You may be surprised at the effect when letterhead elements are moved about or text is going in an unusual direction.

Your letterhead is certainly a very important element of your business communication. However, it cannot possibly contain all of the information you may want it to. Decide what pieces of information are most critical, and work your way down the priority list. Of course, your business name is the most important. Next, your business’s location or website, and a phone number and email address are usually all that’s needed.

If you prefer a minimalistic letterhead, you may want to include only your business name and website, as your website will contain the further contact information your recipients are looking for.