CAOBISCO secretary general Sabine Nafziger spoke to ConfectioneryNews.com following the organisation’s conference in European Parliament last Thursday titled ‘Sustainability, Sweet Sustainability'.
She said that innovation was the key driver to ensure a company’s sustainability by keeping consumers interested.
Therefore, EU regulation should encourage manufactures to innovate, she said, reflecting comments newly appointed CAOBISCO president Tobias Bachmüller, CEO of Katjes Fassin, made at the conference.
CAOBISCO's members include major confectionery player such as Mars, Ferrero, Kraft/Cadbury and Nestlé.
Reduce delays and inconsistencies
“Efforts should be made on bureaucratic burden and inconsistencies,” said Nafziger, excluding safety assessments.
She said delays from regulatory procedures harmed potential return on investments, adding that policies and regulations needed to be more consistent.
“We sometimes see conflicts emerging between the requirements of different DGs (Directorates-General) and sets of regulations which can slow down innovation,” she said.
Allow ingredient claims to encourage innovation
Nafziger said the EU Parliament’s vote against ‘X% less” claims reduced the incentive among manufacturers to reformulate.
She added that formulation changes were further hindered by fixed statutory provisions.
“For example, in the case of chocolate, statutory provisions in the EU Cocoa Directive and technological factors allow no significant changes to formulations,” she said.
Base approvals on science
She added that more “science-based decision making” was required to enable innovation.
Many food additives with a positive risk assessment from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that could lead to new innovation have been not made it to market due to political concerns in the Parliament, she said. Stevia, for example took a long time, she said.
According to Nafziger, the core message to take from CAOBISCOs recent conference was that partnerships throughout the supply chain were key to making progress in sustainability.