Smart labels to come online in Turkey soon
ISTANBULSmart labels on food products will come online in shops and supermarkets across Turkey after a series of cancelations and delays on Dec. 31, with the aim of bringing food products sold in the country up to European Union standards. The new system will be very important to ensure food safety and hygiene standards, in addition to reducing the number of counterfeit products, according to sector representatives.
In the first stage, the system will be available in the product groups which are more susceptible to counterfeiting, including honey, energy drinks, black tea, vegetable oil and baby food, according to data from the Packaging Industrialists’ Association (ASD).
“Making food products traceable through the system will enable consumers to be protected against counterfeit food products, which are quite harmful to health, and to take accurate information of what they eat and drink. The system will also play a role in the fight against the informal economy,” said ASD President Sadettin Korkut, in a written statement on July 31.
There will be two numbers on the mentioned products at the first stage; one is open and another is closed. The closed number will be used by consumers to question through the internet, mobile applications, SMS or voice mail systems if the product is safe for use.
The label will give all the details about the product, from its production to its transportation to the shop, expiration dates and ingredients.
Korkut said the system must be applied in a gradual manner, as there are some risks which may occur during a sudden transition.
“If the necessary planning is not made, packaging prices may rise in the first stage. This will push food prices up. In this case, consumers may choose to buy unpackaged products, which are cheaper but unhealthier. Therefore, the transition to the new smart labeling system must be in a planned in way with the involvement of all players to prevent such risks,” Korkut said.