EU changes to keep an eye on

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Here are two big EU changes coming down the tracks that will impact those producing in and exporting to that market. Credit: Getty/J Studios
Here are two big EU changes coming down the tracks that will impact those producing in and exporting to that market. Credit: Getty/J Studios

Related tags Regulation Health Trade Food fraud

European Parliament and EU Member States have agreed to proposals which will bring notable changes to ‘Breakfast Directives’, whilst other rules will see stearyl tartrate stripped from the EU list of approved food additives later this month.

Breakfast Directive amendments

The 'Breakfast Directives' proposal was set out by the European Commission last year and will update current EU standards that are now over two decades old.

The proposals affect four of the seven EU Directives on honey, fruit juices, dehydrated preserved milk products and jams, jellies and marmalades.

The changes will require the country of origin on honey labels to be clearly visible and introduce a new EU honey traceability system. Amendments will also be made to fruit juices labels, with sugar content to be signposted, and new rules for fruit in jams and marmalades will also emerge.

These proposals aim to help EU consumers make informed and healthier choices on the impacted products, alongside combatting honey fraud.

Speaking after the vote, which received 603 in favour, 9 against and 10 abstentions, rapporteur Alexander Bernhuber (EPP, Austria) described this as “an important step in the labelling”.

He continued: “The country of origin must be clearly indicated on the labelling of honey blends. In addition, higher quality standards have been set and the need for an EU traceability system for honey has been identified. These initiatives will ensure that consumers are better informed and that both beekeepers and consumers are better protected against adulterated honey."

It is expected that legalisation will come into force mid-2024, with a 24-month transition period. Following its publication, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said it will engage with relevant stakeholders.

Stearyl tartrate update

Meanwhile, the EU has published new regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/2379) which removes stearyl tartrate (E 483) from the EU list of approved food additives, effective 23 April 2024.

Stearyl tartrate is an emulsifier and stabiliser which was originally approved for use in a limited number of food categories.

The EU is removing the authorisation for this food additive after industry failed to provide the necessary toxicity studies to support the risk assessment, meaning that EFSA could not determine its safety.

This will impact businesses in Northern Ireland producing this for the NI and EU market, although the FSA anticipates the impact to be minimal give its limited use. In Great Britan, those who are producing it for a UK-only market will be able to continue using this food addictive in line with assimilated law.

In other news, meal kit provider HelloFresh has created 300 jobs with the opening of a new distribution centre.

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more