EU Regulations clearly establish that food information provided on a voluntary basis shall not mislead the consumer, shall not be ambiguous or confusing for the consumer and shall, where appropriate, be based on the relevant scientific data in order to be verified. The goal is thus to give consumers transparent, clear, sound, reliable and verifiable information. Although voluntary claims are a tool that can add value to products, they can be a source of confusion. Consumers may be confused because of a mismatch between what consumers believe the claims state and the message they actually carry. Consumers may not always be sure what the exact content of the claim is; credibility and clarity are then missing. Previous research has mostly looked into voluntary claims on food in general, often with reference to information channelled by third-party schemes. This study focuses on FAPs and looks at all types of voluntary information across the various themes (referred to as 'policy areas') that are relevant to FAPs. Specifically, the following are the main objectives of this study: 1. to provide an overview of the existing voluntary claims on FAPs and their functioning ; 2. to explore to whether such claims presented on FAPs are compliant with relevant requirements ; 3. to explore consumers’ understanding and behaviour towards voluntary claims.
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