EU Specialty Food Ingredients News

2018-0410th Anniversary of the Food Improvement Agents Package (FIAP) โ€“ EU Specialty Food Ingredients held a Panel Debate

In December 2008, the European Union adopted its Food Improvement Agents Package (also known as ‘FIAP’). The purpose of this new set of legal instruments was to harmonise, streamline the use of food additives, enzymes and flavourings, and establish a common authorisation procedure for these products.

At the occasion of the 10th anniversary of this adoption, EU Specialty Food Ingredients held on 24th April in Brussels a Panel Debate in order to take stock of the implementation of this legislative package and to discuss the next challenges in the global context of the future of food, not only for our specialty food ingredients sector but also for other key players of the food chain. The debate was moderated by Ms Jacki Davis, leading journalist, speaker and moderator of high-level events.

The panellists,

  • Mr Jiri Sochor (DG SANTE E2 – Food processing technologies and novel foods),
  • Mrs Beate Kettlitz (Director Food Policy, Science and R&D at FoodDrinkEurope),
  • Mrs Camille Perrin (Senior Food Policy Officer at BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation),
  • Mrs Els Bedert (Adviser, Food & Non-Food Product Safety at Eurocommerce, the voice for retail and wholesale in Europe),
  • Mr Yves Le Bail-Collet (Chair Food Improvement Agents Committee at EU Specialty Food Ingredients),

exchanged their views about, inter alia, the implementation of the legislative package, its influence on time to market and innovation and the challenge of gaining consumer’s trust in food improvement agents.

Attended by members of EU Specialty Food Ingredients, representatives of key sectors of the food chain as well as officers of the European Commission, the event was the opportunity for the participants to hear the Panel’s recommendations on how to enhance the societal acceptance of the food improvement ingredients beyond the key principles set by the FIAP legislations (i.e. safety, technological purpose and not misleading consumers).

Key priorities for action were identified by the Panellists:

  • Manage the image of food improvement agents and continue the dialogue throughout the food chain;
  • Continue to improve the engagement with EFSA as regards the enhancement of procedures for applicants;
  • Restore consumer’s confidence and better trust in science through initiatives like the Commission proposal for transparency in risk assessment;
  • Involve consumers at an earlier stage of the consideration of new applications;
  • Increase consumers’ understanding of the reasons of the use of food improvement agents, without being patronising;
  • Continue to ensure the high level of safety of food improvement agents permitted in the EU whilst enhancing innovation in the food and food ingredient sector.

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