China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) plans to amend “The Administrative Measures for the Labeling of Agricultural Genetically Modified Organisms" to change the labelling catalogs and stipulate that products listed in the catalog shall be lablled if the GMO content of each single ingredient exceeds three percent (3%). Listed products include: Soybeans, soybean flour, soybean oil, soybean meal, soybean protein, okara, corn, corn oil, corn flour, corn residue, corn meal, alfalfa grass and papaya.
The European Parliament rejected the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products Regulation, a crucial component of the European Union’s Green Deal. The proposal would have cut the use of chemical pesticides in half by 2030 and was seen as an important move toward more sustainable agriculture. The vote was close, with 299 members of parliament voting against the proposal, 209 for the regulations and 121 abstaining.
As an effort to preserve Italy’s food culture, the government has proposed a ban on cultivated meat and restrictions on labelling for plant-based products. Meat-based names such as ‘salami’ or ‘steak’ would be prohibited on meat alternatives.
In order to better fulfill the potential of the organic sector to address climate and health issues, the Soil Association has initiated a drive to make organic products affordable, available and accessible to all in the United Kingdom. They intend to collaborate with people across the organic sector to make sure organic farms and products are valued, supported, and available at home and in public settings.
New legislation (EU Regulation 2023/2419) published in the Official Journal of the European Union October 18 aligns the labeling of organic pet food with organic food for human consumption, as outlined in Regulation (EU) 2018/848. Among other changes, the EU organic production logo will be mandatory for prepacked organic pet food. Organic pet food producers have until April months to include the logo on their products.
Rules about wine bottles shapes, seals, labeling and more will change in 2024 in the United Kingdom. Among other changes designed to reduce waste and administrative burdens, imported wines will no longer be required to have an importer address on the label.
The Organic Trade Association offers a three-part Export Readiness Training, to begin November 2, 2023. Attendees will assess their capacity for exporting, identify key foreign markets, and learn practical fundamentals to export products with confidence.
Please register by Wednesday, October 25, 2023. Registration for this training is $350. Scholarships are available.
The Canada Organic Trade Association will host its annual Organic Summit November 20, 2023 with speakers from around the world, an annual update from the Canada Organic Regime, workshops and break out groups, focused around the theme of Greenovation for the Next Generation. Buy tickets by November 10. Remote participation is an option.
Canada Organic Trade Association will present a webinar with the latest statistics about the Canadian organic sector on October 20, 2023 from 2-3. The session is free to COTA members and $100 plus tax for others.
Changes to sodium content limits and recommended energy and nutrient intakes are in place. The Philippines Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is using new recommended energy and nutrient intakes as prescribed in the 2015 Philippine Dietary Reference Intakes as the reference standard in nutrition labelling of processed food products, planning food fortification program, nutrition advocacy, and formulating laws, among others.
Sustainable procurement and organic targets for the European Union were among the highlights from the 2023 European Organic Congress hosted byIFOAM Organics Europe.
In an effort to build trust with consumers amid concerns about adulterated organic products in the market, India’s Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) has directed all state-authorized laboratories to put infrastructure in place for testing organic products. The government of India intends to promote organic products domestically and to boost exports, and wants reliable testing to assure the authenticity of organic products.
Food and beverage companies interested in Asian markets need to understand how to navigate consumers’ increasing interest in health and affordability. The majority of consumers in Asia (62%) trust the health claims made on products, as governments are standardizing “Healthier Choices” symbols and initiatives. Meanwhile, 70% say they are actively trying to save money on food and beverage purchases.
As of December 2023, the Glastir Organic support program for organic farms will close. Organic farms will then have to apply to the Sustainable Farming Support Scheme. A new program is in the works, but details will not be available until the end of the year. Opposed to the move, the Soil Association reports that the changes will remove £3.1 million of support dedicated to organic farms. Within the United Kingdom, Wales has the highest proportion of land area certified as organic.
Since July 31, 2023 all beverages intended for retail sale—including imports—with more than 1.15% alcohol by volume must include a specific pregnancy warning label. Food Standards Australia New Zealand posted guidelines to assist with compliance.
New labeling requirements mandate specific nutritional information on new food and beverage products and mandate the use of an online registration system, effective July 1. To assist food and beverage manufacturers with South Korea’s new rules, the government developed a 50-page guidance booklet.
The European Parliament voted on July 11 to reject a proposal to create detailed production rules for organic sea salt and other organic salts for food and feed. IN the absense of those rules, organic salt operators may be certified as organic on the basis of the principles and general production rules of Regulation (EU) 2018/848, and European Union Member States have the option to use detailed national production rules.
Bulk shipments of the same items imported to separate locations now have a standardized system that removes multiple rounds of application and declaration, streamlining the import process. There are also shorter processing privileges for food and beverage firms with a good trade history in Korea.
With about 20% of the vineyards farmed organically, France is Europe’s leader in organic vineyard management. Organic vineyard acreage increased in 2021 to 90,3000 hectares, up 13% from 2020. Consumption of organic wine in France is up as well, with 36% of shoppers reporting drinking organic wine at least occasionally, up from 17% in 2015. Overall, organic food and beverage products hold a 7% market share in France. Over half (53%) of consumers say they buy organic food often, and 96% of French consumers recognize the organic label. Concern about the environment is one of the drivers of organic wine purchases.
Young consumers in Europe are more open to genetically modified foods, especially if those foods provide a boost in nutrition, reports Food Navigator. Research from Mintel found that about 23% of Germans aged 16-24, compared to 13% overall, would choose a product with GMO ingredients if it were more nutritions. Likewise, 40% of Brits aged 16-44 would buy genetically modified produce if it were more nutritious.