France is proposing to make it compulsory to indicate the name of the brewer and the address of the place of brewing on the labelling of beers produced in France or on behalf of French operators. The idea is make sure drinkers know where their beer comes from, because they know this is a factor in purchasing decisions. It's a great idea, and very much one of the core campaign pillars for Beoir.
Under the EU's enterprise laws, France has had to inform the Commission that they're planning this, and you can read the notification
. The Commission has asked for input from the public for it. I suspect that the big brewers will be against this: they have a long track record of associating beers with places where the brewery has long since closed, so they won't want this going any further.
I've put in a short submission from Beoir to support the proposal:
This contribution is on behalf of Beoir, the beer consumers' organisation for Ireland, which is a constituent member of the European Beer Consumers Union.
The question of provenance is one of utmost importance to Beoir members. As stated in the notification, consumers of beers often make purchase decisions based on what they believe the provenance of the beer to be, whether it's to support local industry or because of another place-based affinity with the beer. Although EU Regulation 1169/2011 includes a ban on "misleading" statements on provenance, this has proven too vaguely worded to be useful in protecting the consumers' rights, and unhelpful and misleading statements of provenance on beer labels and in marketing remains unfortunately commonplace.
The proposal set out here, ie to ensure that the location of production is stated on the product, we believe, is the best way to ensure the consumers' right to accurate product information is upheld. Beoir therefore fully supports the French proposal on the grounds given and furthermore would like it to see it adopted by all member states.