Barcelona (ACN).- An organisation that works for the promotion of the Catalan language, the Pro-Language Platform, reported in a study that only 6% of products sold in supermarkets meet the Consumer Code of Catalonia. The law requires that products are labelled in Catalan and the organisation revealed that the market is not yet standardised, claiming that 94% of products do not meet the legal requirements and that this is disrespectful to the consumer. The organisation reports that although large multinational companies such as Danone, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Gillette and Philips respect the laws of other linguistic areas, they do not abide by the labeling requirements in Catalonia.
Bernat Gasull, of the Pro-Language Platform stresses that ample time has been given to companies to deplete remaining stocks and is in favor of applying the rules more strictly. The association said that in Catalonia, according to the Catalan Consumer Agency, 94 fines were imposed for products not being labeled in Spanish in 2009, a figure that dropped to 12 last year. However, none have been recorded for Catalan, although there were 328 complaints.
The organisation states that there is no reason for labels to not be in Catalan, considering the market, consumer’s rights and the law. Gasull has also paid particular attention the social responsibility of the companies that do not label their products in Catalan, especially since they label their products in other languages with communities similar to Catalonia and in countries where the language is not official.
The Pro-Language Platform did not find a product or a company that circumvented the rules more than most, however emphasised that when a company committed to labelling in Catalan, it forced similar companies to do the same, so as not to lose its consumer base. Gasull explained that this process has happened for beer, water and milk where there are few products without labels in Catalan. However for pharmaceuticals, where there is a need for detailed and precise instructions, it is much less common.
Albert Castellón, the director of Moritz beer brand, explained the company’s experience with the language. Castellón considers the Catalan language as an important communication tool that goes beyond the labels, since the principal consumers of the product are Catalan. Castellón said that “it’s possible to have labels in Catalan and be modern” and has encouraged other companies to use the language. For Castellon, the brand has proved that Catalan works commercially, besides making them “feel good”.