Caobisco 60th anniversary celebrations provide launch for its Treatwell initiative

A key sector initiative has been launched by Caobisco, the association for chocolate, biscuit and confectionery industries of Europe, for encouraging manufacturers and consumers to enjoy snacks and confectionery responsibly. Neill Barston reports from the organisation’s 60th anniversary celebrations

“Responsibly produced and mindfully enjoyed” was the core message from Caobisco trade association with its newly launched Treatwell initiative to encourage wellbeing surrounding consumer snacking habits.

The organisation, which represents around 13,000 sector members from manufacturers across the confectionery and snack sectors, launched its latest campaign at an event held in Brussels this week, which was covered by Confectionery Production.

It comes in the wake of a global State of Snacking report from Mondelēz International, which highlights continued international growth in the sector, with consumers seeking to balance indulgent moments alongside having access to perceived healthier product options.

As Caobisco noted, the sector is committed to making a positive impact on the world through ensuring products are safe, fulfil high quality standards and are produced in a responsible way and mindfully enjoyed.

The association acknowledged that its future depends on the ability of our members, farmers and their communities to manage the use of raw materials in ways that safeguard our planet. Consequently, it noted that its members are committed to an ethical and sustainable supply chain and making a dedicated contribution towards it.

In addition, the organisation stressed that it also recognises the importance of diversity, human rights and the inclusion of people of different working generations and cultures.

Caobisco 60th anniversary celebrations provide launch for its Treatwell initiative

Speaking at the launch, Caobisco President Mary Barnard (right of main picture with MEP Norbert Lins), noted that healthy lifestyles and balanced diets are the basis of wellbeing and consumer preferences are evolving.

She explained that manufacturers are continuing to innovate to adapt and improve the nutritional content of new and existing products, as well as enhancing communications to help empower consumers to enjoy treats mindfully as part of a varied diet and overall healthy lifestyle.

“Treats are special. Taking a moment to enjoy a treat is important to our individual and collective wellbeing and is an integral part of our European culinary heritage. Providing treats that are responsibly produced and mindfully enjoyed is the philosophy that drives our industry. Highlighting this engagement is what the Treatwell initiative is all about,” explained Mary Barnard, noting that she was encouraged that the latest study from Mondelēz showed that 77% of consumers believed that there was a place for both indulgent treats as well as healthier snacking alternatives.

She added: “The culture and heritage of our industry is a real jewel in the crown of Europe, we are major exporters around the world. I work for Mondelēz and lead the chocolate business, and when I am in the US or China, they talk about Belgian chocolate, Swiss Chocolate and Italian biscuits. It’s such a rich heritage – we have been here for 60 years as an organisation, and we want to be here for another 60 years, and we can be rightfully proud of the industry, explained the President, who said that Caobisco would be seeking to engage positively with the new European Commission on a number of key matters.

“We know that we are facing a number of key challenge as a society, whether that is sustainability, or wellbeing, and we want to be a leading industry and part of the dialogue and solution on these issues.”

 

The 60th anniversary event also featured a keynote speech from MEP Norbert Lins, of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, who praised the confectionery sector as playing a significant role within the wider food sector.

He said that it was vital that the cocoa farming sector was maintained in an ethical manner that supported farming communities to enable its long-term sustainability.

Caobisco 60th anniversary celebrations provide launch for its Treatwell initiative

For her part, Marina Valverde, Secretary General of Caobisco, believed the association was in a strong position as it continued to evolve with developments in the sector.

She said: Our products are recognised as the gold standard for excellence globally, and our industry allows Europe to maintain its tradition of skilled and creative confectionery making, celebrating the diversity of our products and cultures. We proudly represent more than 13 000 European chocolate, biscuits and confectionery manufacturing companies, 99% of which are SMEs. With over 400 000 direct employees and an annual turnover of almost €70 billion, the 60th anniversary of the founding of CAOBISCO is the right moment to recognise and celebrate the vital and positive contribution of our industry.”

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