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Stonemanor to close 'until further notice' due to label language laws
Expat retailer Stonemanor will shut its two stores on the outskirts of Brussels next week "until further notice", after falling foul of Belgian food labelling laws.
A 1977 Belgian law states that food labels must be in the official language of the region where the product is sold. Belgian food safety organisation Afsca is responsible for checks.
In Brussels, bilingual French/Dutch labels are required. Both of Stonemanor's stores are in Flanders, so all ingredients and allergen information should be translated into Dutch.
"Following a lengthy ongoing process concerning [our] situation, we are waiting for further judgment from the Belgian courts," Stonemanor said.
"We can assure you that we are working as hard as we can to have the stores reopened as quickly as possible."
Until 20 January, both stores are open as normal. Stonemanor said its stores would then be closed until at least March.
It has been a difficult year for Stonemanor, which had to close its stores temporarily in February 2021 due to Brexit paperwork-related supply issues.
Stonemanor delivers thousands of food products and other items from its Norfolk warehouse in the UK. It has been serving expats and fans of British food specialities since 1982.
But since the UK left the European Union last January, it has faced a huge administrative burden to deliver goods to Belgium and has relied increasingly on Irish suppliers for many products.