A history of EUFIC

For over 20 years, EUFIC has helped people to find online food facts to make healthier choices in their everyday life. What started in 1995 with one person and no online presence, some twenty years later has become a respected non-profit organisation with over a dozen staff and a website that attracts over 16 million visitor sessions per year. More than 48,000 people are subscribed to EUFIC’s electronic newsletter, and EUFIC today is a credible and sought after communications partner in multi-stakeholder platforms and EU-funded projects.

The first ten years of EUFIC served to lay the foundation for the organisation that it has become. This first decade saw the creation of EUFIC’s now popular newsletter, Food Today, and the launch of two websites that were crucial to EUFIC’s development: www.eufic.org, the organisation’s science-based reference website launched in 1997, and the creation of the CoolFoodPlanet website for children in 2001.

EUFIC scientific credibility is built on its highly qualified staff

Since its creation in 1995, the dedication, understanding of science and proactive outreach of EUFIC staff paved the way for growth in multi-stakeholder collaboration in EU-funded projects and stakeholder fora. In its second decade of existence, half of EUFIC staff has a scientific background in nutrition and health, food safety and quality and consumer insights.

EUFIC communicates science-based information in a way that it is easy to understand

EUFIC’s Food Today newsletter, covering topical information about nutrition and health, and food safety and quality, first appeared in 1997. The first five issues featured articles on the consequences of obesity and the meaning of nutrition and its key parameters.

Since then, EUFIC has published nearly 100 issues and has covered topics ranging from food additives to labelling, through to motivating behaviour change and healthy ageing.

EUFIC pioneered food information's arrival to the Internet

EUFIC launched its eufic.org website in 1997, reaching 3.2 million visitor sessions in 2005, when EUFIC celebrated its 10th anniversary.

From the year 2000, when ‘EUFIC Online’ - our electronic newsletter - was launched, subscribers to the newsletter increased to nearly 23,000 by 2005.

EUFIC is committed to educating children about nutrition

In 2001, EUFIC launched the CoolFoodPlanet website, a fun learning tool that parents and school teachers are encouraged to play alongside children aged 6-12 years, to help them learn how to balance their nutrition and physical activity needs.

In the ten years spanning 2006 to the present, EUFIC has grown in both size and credibility, pursuing new initiatives such as performing scientific consumer research, publication of scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, stepped up involvement in EU-funded projects and partnerships with other organisations such as Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). These added activities have improved the visibility and credibility of EUFIC while growing a network of connections, and amplified its communications outreach. For example, in May 2009 EUFIC and the FAO organised a workshop on food based dietary guidelines. Fourteen Central and Eastern European countries participated in this workshop in Budapest. In 2006, EUFIC joined the European Commission’s EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity & Health, where stakeholders from industry to academia and consumer groups commit to actions tackling obesity in Europe.

EUFIC produces acclaimed scientific literature

In 2006, EUFIC produced its first two scientific publications and in 2007 published its most cited article (more than 375 according to Google Scholar) in the Journal of Public Health, by Grunert KG, Wills J: A review of European research on consumer response to nutrition information on food labels (J Public Health. 2007;15:385–99). EUFIC has published 70 scientific articles since then, of which 33 are peer-reviewed. EUFIC science publications have been cited over 778 times, according to Google Scholar.

EUFIC involvement in EU-funded projects helps to move research forward and closer to relevant audiences

In 2004, EUFIC took part in its first EU-funded scientific research project, the SAFE FOODS project (2004-2008), whose aim was to restore consumer trust in the European food chain by improving the governance of food safety.

Since EUFIC’s participation in its first EU-funded project, the organisation has continued to be successful with research funding proposals, leading to 23 EU-funded research projects to date. One of the highlights of EUFIC's involvement in EU-funded research was when it was entrusted to coordinate the EU-funded FLABEL project on nutrition labelling, from 2008 to 2012, and then entrusted again to coordinate the  CLYMBOL project on health claims (2012-2016). To date, EUFIC has been involved in 24 EU projects in which EUFIC.

EUFIC is a balanced source of food information with over 20 years of experience

EUFIC's presence in international conferences has increased over the years. With 'Food in Action', on motivating behaviour change, in 2007, EUFIC first began organising conferences and scientific symposia at major food safety and nutrition events, such as the 2013 International Congress on Nutrition (ICN), where EUFIC contributed to five symposia and was coordinator of four. EUFIC also organizes its own annual conference. In 2016, the theme was ‘Understanding consumers and changing behaviour’. 

Timeline:

  • 1995: Foundation of EUFIC
  • 1997: Creation of the EUFIC.org website in English
  • 2001: CoolFoodPlanet.org website for children launched by EUFIC
  • 2004: EUFIC’s first EU-funded research project
  • 2006: First EUFIC scientific publications
  • 2006: EUFIC joins the EU Platform for Action on Diet Physical Activity & Health
  • 2006: EUFIC website EUFIC.org available in 5 languages
  • 2007: Publication of EUFIC’s first Global Update on Nutrition Labelling
  • 2008: EUFIC is entrusted to coordinate the EU-funded FLABEL project
  • 2009: FAO organises workshop in collaboration with EUFIC
  • 2010: EUFIC.org website re-launched and available in 11 languages
  • 2010: EUFIC produces its first public Annual Report
  • 2012: EUFIC is entrusted to coordinate the EU-funded CLYMBOL project
  • 2012: EUFIC’s CoolFoodPlanet.org website for children revamped
  • 2013: EUFIC coordinated four scientific symposia at ICN in Granada
  • 2015: EUFIC’s first annual conference marking 20 years of EUFIC
  • 2016: EUFIC organizes its second annual meeting ‘Understanding consumers and changing behaviour’
  • 2016: EUFIC partners in the EIT FOOD proposal
  • 2017: new EUFIC logo and website