In February 2016, 22 EU Member States led by the Netherlands adopted a Roadmap on Food Product Improvement. Reducing energy intake (salt, saturated fats, and sugars) is one of the cornerstones of this Roadmap. All supply chain actors are requested to contribute to the objectives of this Roadmap.

As part of this overarching roadmap, in early 2016 the European Commission started working on the so-called “Added Sugars Annex”, i.e. benchmarks for added sugars reduction across various food categories with a general reduction target of a minimum of 10% by 2020.

To define the benchmarks, the Commission started to hold a series of working group meetings with industry and national governments, in order to produce recommendations for Member States to design and implement sugar reduction and reformulation strategies at the national level. These recommendations are due in November 2016.

Member States are encouraged to put in place local implementation plans and introduce a monitoring system by the end of 2017. Since these recommendations are not binding, the focus of these discussions will shift to national capitals as they will decide on how to tailor recommendations to the local context. Europe might become a patchwork of different national approaches, with the risk of turning into a real nightmare for international food manufacturers, who wish to adopt a single recipe across the entire EU.

Would you like to find out more about the impact of the Added Sugars Annex on food and retail industry? Join our sugar policy roundtable with Therese Comodini Cachia MEP on 9 November.
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Authored by: Maria Linkova-Nijs