BDSI confectionery group backs passing of German due diligence supply chain laws

Germany’s BDSI confectionery sector trade organisation has welcomed the country’s Bundestag parliament finally passing a national supply chain due diligence law, with major potential positives for the cocoa sector, writes Neill Barston.

As the organisation noted, there had been a ‘tug of war’ between interested parties lasting years over the proposed legislation, which it hopes could form a blueprint for an overall EU-wide legal framework for industries operating within its own sector and wider business world.

The BDSI’s support for the new legislation – which outlines key standards for operating in respecting those throughout value chains, comes as it has also highlighted major challenges facing the country’s confectionery industry, with 43% of its member businesses reporting a loss in sales, according to a recent study. Its research found that a total of 76% businesses in the sector had been notably impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, in terms of employee illness. It is not anticipated that trade would recover until 2023.

As the organisation revealed, while it has backed the new laws, it conceded that early drafts of the legislation would have placed a heavy burden on many companies – which continue to be impacted by the pandemic. However, it is optimistic the agreed policies would prove influential in the sector.

Dr. Carsten Bernoth, general manager of the BDSI said that “companies should be encouraged together with suppliers, agricultural cooperatives to look for solutions in the industry,” which would require countries to examine supply chains carefully to enable them to meet expected standards.

The BDSI added that due diligence legislation should not only focus on its own suppliers, but also extend to the suppliers of the suppliers, especially small and medium-sized companies that have no direct influence on complete supply chains and are dependent on others within chains for sourcing certification.

General assembly

This month, the BDSI has also confirmed that  Bastian Fassin, of Katjes Fassin, has been approved chairman for the next two years, having been managing director together with Tobias Bachmüller since 2004

Fassin has been a member of the BDSI Presidium since 2008, and has also been chairman of the key ISM trade fair working group since 2012, with the event due to return early next year.

The general assembly also confirmed  deputies at the BDSI, including Aldo Cristiano, Ferrero Germany, Michael Overhoff, Continental Bakeries Germany,  Andreas Patz, Haribo, Martin Ruehs, Eisbär Eis Gebr. Klehn and Roland Stroese, Intersnack Knabber-Pastries.

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