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Today at Squire Patton Boggs’ Global Supply Chain Law Blog, we are featuring some recent work done by our Global Food and Beverage Practice, which actively monitors regulatory, policy, and case law developments in the food, beverage, and related sectors around the world.  Recently, the group has published an update on food and beverage law in the European Union, including some that affect global supply chains.

  • As of January 1, 2016, there will be some new requirements for UK alcoholic beverages supply chains.  Alcohol wholesalers will be required to register with the government, and retailers will be liable for selling any alcohol products if they know or have reasonable grounds to suspect that a UK wholesale supplier is not registered.  Penalties for breach could be a fine (of unlimited amount) and/or imprisonment of up to seven years on indictment or 12 months on summary conviction.  More details about the registration process will be available when rulemaking is published.booze
  • In October 2015, members of the European Parliament voted to approve changes to EU legislation that regulates food products containing caseins.  Producers supplying products that contain caseins to food manufacturers will be required to include allergen labeling or at least information identifying caseins as an ingredient.
  • On April 1, 2015, EU rules on country of origin for fresh, chilled, and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats, and poultry came into force.  These new rules require meat labels to indicate the country in which the animal was “reared in” and “slaughtered in.”  If animals were born, raised, and slaughtered in the same country, then the label may simply state the country of “origin.”
  • As of the end of November 2015, the EC’s recommendations contained in its 2013 guidance on the classification of food extracts with coloring properties must be implemented, and “colorants” and “coloring food” must be clearly identified.  Food and drink companies should check their labeling policies to ensure compliance with these requirements.
  • The European Commission has also renewed the mandate of the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain, an expert group formed to address major challenges and develop policy in the food sector in the EU.  The Forum is intended to bring together relevant public and private stakeholders to analyze and address challenges in the food sector.

Thanks to Rob Elvin, David Gordon, Brian Hartnett, Anita Lloyd, Martin Rees, and Nicola Smith for the update!  A link to the full document is here:  SPB Policy And Legal Developments: EU Food and Beverage Sector