BDSI raises fears over EU ingredients origins laws placing ‘unsolvable problems’ on confectionery firms

Germany’s BDSI confectionery trade body has expressed major concerns over EU plans to require origin identification for all ingredients under proposed ‘Food information ordinance’ legislation being put forward, reports Neill Barston.

According to research from the sweets organisation, the move would present companies with ‘unsolvable problems and logistics challenges’ that would worsen, rather than improve packaging waste challenges.

Bastian Fassin, Chairman of the BDSI, believed that the sector would be badly hit, as it is already facing the prospect of key labour shortages this Christmas amid the ongoing energy crisis.

He said: “The demands for a comprehensive, mandatory indication of source are completely impractical, as it would lead to an unimaginable bureaucratic effort and enormous costs, and result in no added value for the companies concerned or for consumers.

“Public surveys clearly show that when it comes to confectionery, the taste is in the foreground and not the question of which country the in flour used in a biscuit or the sugar in a candy.”

As the BDSI noted, in practice, an extension of the existing regulations would lead to mandatory labelling of origin mean that all raw materials according to their origin would have to be stored and processed separately, for example a separate silo for wheat from Germany, one for wheat from Poland, and another for wheat from France.

Furthermore, the same would apply to all other ingredients used, such as sugar, milk powder or nuts, apply. In the view of the BDSI, this is neither economical nor ecologically makes sense, as raw materials for use in confectionery have always been used worldwide, and purchased depending on their availability and required quality.

In addition, the organisation added that the labelling of main ingredients would mean that confectionery companies would no longer be able to access short-term changes of suppliers, as the individual raw materials are mixed in silos. This hits also to the suppliers who, for example, are in the growing regions in times of hot summers have to change.

German employment shortage

As covered by Confectionery Production recently, the BDSI has warned of major labour shortages brought about by the energy crisis, inflation on ingredients and also impacted by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

According to the organisation, the backbone of the sector in Germany consists of around 200 mid-sized companies employing around 60,000 people- with a recent survey showing 84% of firms finding huge difficulty filling production vacancies for basic roles.

In addition, more than 50% of the companies in the confectionery industry also have difficulties finding suitable trainees for to find typical nutritional or technical jobs.

Within a wider context, the BDSI noted that there are currently two million vacancies in German companies, against a backdrop of a continuously further shrinking of the working-age population age around by around 400,000 people per year. In the trade body’s view, a recently presented initiative from the federal government designed to attract skilled workers according to the assessment, falls short of what is required to address what is now a major problem for the country.



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