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Agricultural Law


Notifiable diseases affecting farm animals

The minimum wage for agricultural workers

Identification of livestock

Holding numbers, flock numbers and herd numbers

Agricultural vehicles and the law

Gaining organic status

Environmental stewardship

Agricultural tenancies

Gangmasters licensing

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Cloning farm animals

The right to roam over agricultural land

Disposal of fallen stock

Common land

Heather and grass burning

The British Cattle Movement Service

Regulation of genetically modified food

Disposing of farm waste

The common agricultural policy

The common agricultural policy

The single payment scheme

The common fisheries policy

Animal Welfare

The Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations

The welfare of farm animals at markets

Movement of livestock

The welfare of farm animals during transportation

The welfare of farm animals at slaughter

Sale of goods

Legal requirements relating to the sale of eggs

Legal requirements relating to the sale of wool 

Marketing fruit and vegetables

Farmers' markets and the law

Farm shops and the law

Food Labelling

The Food Labelling Regulations 1996

Labelling bread and flour

Labelling Jams

Labelling sugar products

Labelling fruit juices

Labelling coffee

Labelling cocoa and chocolate products

Labelling fish

Labelling honey

Labelling milk products

Labelling meat products

Labelling fat and oils

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The law relating to the labelling of cocoa and chocolate products is governed by the Cocoa and Chocolate Products (England) Regulations 2003.

The Regulations apply to cocoa and chocolate products, intended for human consumption that are sold to consumers and catering establishments.

Reserved descriptions

The following descriptions of products are referred to as “reserved descriptions”:

The Regulations set out detailed criteria which must be met before a product can be described using one of these reserved descriptions.

The Regulations prohibit the sale of food with a label which bears, comprises or includes a reserved description unless:


When cocoa and chocolate products are sold they must be marked or labelled. The mark or label must contain the reserved description of the product.

Chocolate products containing vegetable fats other than cocoa butter must be conspicuously, clearly and legibly labelled “contains vegetable fats in addition to cocoa butter”. Such wording must be in the same field of vision as the list of ingredients, clearly separated from the list of ingredients, in bold lettering no less large than that of the list of ingredients and located near the reserved description. The reserved description may also appear elsewhere on the label.

Where the words” milk chocolate” are used the label must indicate the dry milk solid content of the product using the words “milk solids …% minimum”. For certain products this must be at least 14% and for certain other products this must be at least 20%.

Certain products must also bear a label indicating the total dry cocoa solids content expressed as “cocoa solids …% minimum”.

Certain cocoa products must bear a label indicating the cocoa butter content of the product.

Where certain chocolate products are sold in an assortment it is permissible to replace the reserved description with the words “assorted chocolates”, “assorted filled chocolates” or with similar wording and the list of ingredients can be a single list of ingredients for all the products in the assortment.

The labelling for chocolate, milk chocolate and couverture chocolate can be supplemented by information or descriptions relating to quality criteria as long as certain criteria are met.

The Food Labelling Regulations 1996 contain requirements as to the manner in which food should be marked or labelled.

Use of vegetable fats in chocolate products

The Regulations allow certain vegetable fats, other than cocoa butter, to be added the following products:

However, any added vegetable fat must not exceed 5% of the finished product after the total weight of any other edible substances used have been deducted, without reducing the minimum content of cocoa butter or total dry cocoa solids.

The authorised vegetable fats are as follows:

Failure to comply with the Regulations

Contravention of the Regulations is a criminal offence punishable by a fine. However, a defence is available in certain circumstances in relation to exported products.


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