Lopez Obrador Sees Future without LabelsBy Jan Hogewoning | Sun, 12/06/2020 - 09:11
This week, Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo celebrated its 75th anniversary. To mark this landmark event, the company held a ceremony to open a new distribution center in Mexico City, considered to be the largest in the world. In attendance was the President and CEO of the group, Daniel Servitje, who invited President Lopez Obrador to attend and hold a speech.
During the visit, the president did not miss the opportunity to refer to his labeling reform, which for the past six months has caused much controversy within the food and beverage industry. Many Mexican and international food giants, have been forced to label their products with very impressive signs, that warn of excess of sugar, fats, sodium and artificial chemicals. Consumer can spot these labels by their black octagonal shape.
“The objective should be to improve the quality of food and Bimbo is helping and will continue to help, because we have spoken with Daniel (Servitje) about this issue and the company together with other companies are making an effort to improve the quality of the food,” said López Obrador. The president continued his speech by stating “We propose to put aside (product labeling) in the future, because we are going to have food, products that are not going to have excess sugars, salts, fats, chemicals, which are going to be truly healthy products.” To achieve this, the president emphasized the need for collaboration between the public sector, the private sector and the social sector. “Those three engines are what allows for economic growth to take place, providing jobs, stability, peace and tranquility in our country.”, he stated. Finally, he congratulated Grupo Bimbo for having achieved this landmark event, and being a Mexican family-owned company that has grown a wide international footprint.
Until recently, companies have expressed their dismay towards the new labels. Coca-Cola has warned these labels may impact revenues, especially during a time when we are already in economic distress due to the pandemic. Others, like Danone Dairy, were more critical of the lack of transparency from the government's side in the implementation phase of the new labels. Read our interview with Silvia Davila, regional president of Latin America for Danone Dairy, to learn more.