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Flavours & fragrances


favourite restaurant last summer, but the sector is again closed in many countries,” she notes. In the meantime, food and drink manufacturers, as well as the flavour industry in general, are constantly examining ways of improving transparency and traceability in their supply chains, with possible measures including digital transition.


Suppliers and manufacturers in the food and drink industry have suffered during the pandemic.


be sent to the council shortly. However, the real elephant in the room at present is the ongoing Covid- 19 pandemic and the implications it is having for the agricultural-food supply chain – particularly from a farm to fork perspective. While the crisis has highlighted the essential role food plays in our life even more, according to Kastler, “delays in production, obstacles in the distribution and a very unstable and even irrational demand”, remain evident. And smaller companies face bigger challenges, due to having fewer resources at their disposal.


“In EFFA’s view, science has to play a predominant role, and the authorisation of safe products has to originate from the best available science from the EU’s own risk assessment agencies.”


Antoine Kastler


The minimum reduction of greenhouse gas emissions set by the EU to be achieved by 2030.


EU 78 55%


Dohmen notes that EFFA was supportive during the first wave of European Commission sponsored initiatives, such as ‘Green Lanes’ – ensuring continuous movement of goods across national boundaries throughout the pandemic. It also offered more practical guidance to ensure the free movement of critical workers because the industry had to still meet the demands of customers and fill the supermarkets.


“Now that the situation is more stable, one of the main victims of the restrictions is the horeca [food service] sector, which is a very important customer for the food and ingredients industry,” she adds. “We participated in an initiative with other European Associations to #Reconnect with your


Digital solutions While clarity is key, according to Kastler, the implications of digital transition are less clear cut – even if EFFA is supportive of it in principle. As he puts it: “Each company might have different solutions that aren’t discussed within EFFA because of anti-trust reasons and EFFA’s scope. “The quick spread of mobile applications rating food is a good example of how important this type of information and the role of technology is for consumers. We therefore support a European harmonised framework that is based in science,” he adds. “What is important is to provide all the necessary information to the customer, so that they can appropriately label their products for consumers.” In the meantime, the ingredients industry is also set to be impacted by the European Commission’s revision of the Food Information to Consumers Regulation, according to Dohmen. “This has an indirect impact on the ingredients industry, as it will fundamentally change the front-of-pack labelling systems across the EU, including the setting of ‘nutrient profiles’ that restrict the promotion – via nutrition and health claims – of foods that are high in fats, sugars and/or salt. They will consider proposing the extension of mandatory origin or provenance indications to certain products.” Yet certainty isn’t always apparent – changes to the EU’s General Food Law Regulation, that were put in place in September 2019, with the publication of Regulation EU – being a case in point. Despite the new provisions that came into effect from March, many questions remain regarding the detailed procedures and practical arrangements. Dohmen argues: “As a general rule in EU law, new provisions should be justified and proportionate and not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the aims and objectives. “There are indeed still many questions and uncertainties on which level information will be published, for how long, and whether it will be protected or include business-sensitive information – even if requesting confidentiality status to protect intellectual property rights is an option.” In other words, not only are the targets periodically shifting, what those targets are exactly is not always clear. ●


Ingredients Insight / www.ingredients-insight.com


photoff/Shutterstock.com


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