Philippine exporters and would-be exporters are advised to comply with specific product label requirements to ensure safety, traceability, and quality, as well as access international markets.
“All countries have their own respective mandatory labeling requirements, but they all have these in common: the product identity name, the net content declaration, the ingredient declaration, the information about the manufacturer/packer/distributor, and the country of origin,” Jhunafe Ruanto, a trade facilitation expert and general manager of Blue Capuch Graphic Design Studio, said in a webinar.
Ruanto said the product name should clearly describe the type and nature of the product that business owners are selling, such as soap, shampoo, noodles, and sardines.
“So after the product name, of course, we have your brand or trademark so it should not resemble another name and should not be deceptively descriptive. Use words such as “Best”, “Excellent” with prudence,” she said.
Ruanto said net contents describe the amount of the consumable product of the trade item contained in a package.
“It does not, however, include the weight of the wrapper or the container. Then what is the most important thing in product labeling is the statemen
You have to show how the product has been made or what composed the product so in your label, it should specifically state the ingredients, what we use for our product, and it has an order. It should be in descending order of proportion or predominance,” she added.
Ruanto urged business owners to document the processes on how they produce their products
“For some of the products with complex or two or more discrete components, you may have a separate listing of ingredients of each component,” she said. “In the ingredients, it is important to declare the food additives so you have to put the common name/the class name, and the function. If it is vitamins or minerals, it must be declared individually, except if there is already a Nutrition Information table.”
Ruanto said it should be also included in the label if the product has food allergen.
The Nutrition Facts label, she added, should be likewise presented for the health benefits of the consumer.
“So if you are an exporter or starting to export or planning to export, you have to identify the country that you would want your product to go and then identify what is the format of their Nutrition Facts (label) but for majority, they are based on US FDA (Food and Drug Administration),” she said.
Ruanto further said the manufacturer information tells who made the product and if it was made for a particular company. If the product is imported, distributor information is indicated.
The expiration date indicates recommended last consumption date and shall be printed clearly and conspicuously on all product labels, she said.
“Just to remind, each country has its own label policy so if you are an exporter, you need to identify what country where you will ship your product, and you need to understand what their label requirements…,” she added in Filipino.
Meanwhile, Blue Capuch Graphic Design Studio specializes in label and packaging design compliance. It offers a one-stop shop of service for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from label design of their products to short run printing of the labels.