Germany’s BDSI industry group lobbies for EU-wide sustainability policy
EU flags waving in front of European Parliament building. Brussels, Belgium
Germany’s BDSI (Federal Association of the Confectionery Industry), has renewed calls for an EU-wide policy ensuring joined-up sustainability policies in its crucial cocoa supply chains, reports Neill Barston.
According to the industry body, it welcomed development of national laws relating to ethical sourcing, which is reflected in the fact that over 90% of the country’s palm oil, and 72% of cocoa used by the sector have gained certified status that it is continuing to improve upon.
However, in welcoming the German Supply Chain Act, it said that a uniform policy across Europe was required that embraced existing initiatives developed by the likes of Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance on key issues such as tackling child labour.
Its call comes amid a challenging period for the sector, with the BDSI reporting that the country’s key export market had been impacted by coronavirus pandemic conditions. According to its latest results, overseas sales were down 2.5% to €8.5 billion, equating to around 2.2 million tonnes of confectionery and snacks were exported in 2020. This represented a volume decrease of 1.3% compared to the previous year.
“The BDSI is against a patchwork of different regulations in the individual EU member states. Only when we speak with one voice can the necessary political pressure on the European Union Build up growing countries.” notes Dr. Carsten Bernoth, General Manager of the BDSI.
“It is a mistake to believe that companies can solve these challenges on their own where politics has so far failed. “Instead of a German law and so that another new national regulation should be launched from the perspective of the association, the federal government to advance the European process and to lead to a consensus so that the EU Commission, as intended, by mid-2021 submits a legislative proposal, which is then also swiftly in the sense of a “Better Regulation” can be advised.
As Confectionery Production has previously reported, the BDSI has spoken out on a number of occasions in support of sustainable sourcing, having last summer welcomed national legislation relating to palm oil sourcing, which the organisation believed was a strong step forward for traceability of product supplies.