Intended use of the various origin/manufacturer/packaging data fields


I am Fabian from Germany and very happy that this forum now exists, even if labelled as experimental. I hope that it will be in production soon, so that someone can easily search for newer documentation/instructions. Even as I am a techie, already have made some mistakes, as I have to try out things the hard way, because of lacking documentation.

I have problems to understand the intended use of the data fields belonging something to the origin of the product or its ingredients, as the German and English translations are ambiguous.

The field “Manufacturing or processing places” seems to be intended for the address of the producer/packager, as complete as possible.

So if this (2009010223322) Tunisian tomatoes are packaged in the Netherlands, it is the address of the packager.

More interesting is the meaning of the field “Origin of the product and/or its ingredients”. Is this the origin of the product, Netherlands for the above tomatoes, its ingredients (Tunisian), or both?

How does this field differ from the labels-fields, if the product contains no special designed label for “Made in …”, but contains “Made in …” as text. Should I then put the “Made in …” there?

How is “Origin of ingredients” different from the data field “Origin of the product and/or its ingredients”? Should it contain the origin of all ingredients, even if it is only written for some on the packaging, assuming the other come from the place of the packager/manufacturer? Should the place of the origin, given as detailed as possible?

Is “Recycling instructions and/or packaging information picture” the picture of the packaging or of the recycling labels, if present? If it is the picture of the packaging, should I then reselect the product picture, if it already contains the complete packaging?

What is the difference/use between the field “Recycling instructions and/or packaging information”
and the table below this field labelled “Packaging parts”?

Should the front picture be taken slightly from the side, so that the spatial dimensions of the products can be seen better (looks nicer) or in a 90°-angle as the most contributors seems to do it, to help the robot with processing?


Hi @fabi2, thanks for the questions !

Yes on origins, it’s a bit complicated to understand everything. I’m not sure myself… maybe @charlesnepote or @stephane have more insights !

Packaging part is a bit deprecated, as we now prefer to have packaging components. We kept it only because some third party applications continue to send informations through it and we prefer not to loose it, for now.

For front picture I don’t think we have clear guidelines, and most people do what they can. I think the role is really for the consumer to be able to recognize the product. If you want to add more pictures for algorithms or simply documentation, do not hesitate to add them with “more interesting photos”.

As you get insight do not hesitate to contribute to the documentation through the wiki. We also have a FAQ that might need more love !

Hallo @fabi2 und wilkommen :wave:

Those are very good points!

I asked similar question regarding origin fields on Slack a few months ago: Slack
(do you have access to Slack?)

Main Information from Slack: There is no clear documentation, only a small number of products have these fields now filled. For now, there is only a bug on Github: 3 fields for the origins? (very confusing) · Issue #7469 · openfoodfacts/openfoodfacts-server · GitHub

I first had used “Manufacturing or processing places” for the complete manufacturer /packager address, as this gives the most information. But then I changed some products to only contain town and country, as it is more useful for the existing website implementation. But as there is no clear guideline, it would be useful to put the complete address including the country there, and later use OpenStreetMap to look up the Street and get the region and postcode region, if present, for navigating/display on the website (thanks to the hard-working developers!). For 4010352372607 the OSM lookup with the complete address already works.

@alex:So I would fill out the packaging parts table and take the pictures, so they look (hopefully) nice, as I understand it so, that it is more important to see, how the product looks, as to help robotoff.

I would provide as much origin information as possible, as they can be made more coarse-grained for displaying later.

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Yes, exactly. You can still help robotoff with images that are not displayed to user.