Small enterprises play a key role in this sector as around 80% of Europe’s food products are produced in SMEs. The UEAPME Food Forum actively monitors the developments in the EU food legislation so as to ensure that the regulations affecting SMEs are fair, feasible and allow traditional SME food manufacturers to continue to produce food in traditional ways while ensuring consumer safety.
The Food Forum consists of experts from UEAPME member associations who represent the small and medium sized enterprises involved in food producing and processing. At the moment 20 experts from 8 European Member states work together in this forum. They share opinions on proposals for directives and regulations from the European Commission and prepare joint positions for the European Commission and the Parliament.
Achievements in 2011
The main challenge in 2011 has been the new Food Information for Consumers Regulation. The UEAPME Food Forum responded in detail to the 575 amendments put forward by MEPs and had exhaustive discussions with the Commission. As a result the proposals for universal country of origin labelling, full labelling of non- pre-packed foods, making the retailer responsible for the accuracy of all the labels on the goods he sells, declarations of child labour or non-union labour in the food chain and many others were eliminated from the regulation. This has meant that the new regulation, there was only a directive before, on food labelling has emerged as practical for small enterprises.
There is no doubt that without our interventions the new Regulation would have seriously disadvantaged SMEs.
The UEAPME Food Forum has continued to alert national associations to all potential and actual changes to food legislation and made it possible for those associations to speak with the officials writing both the regulations and official guidance. This has resulted in a high level of food hygiene throughout Europe with the minimum burdens of bureaucracy loaded upon businesses. Awareness of proposed legislation and the opportunity to put the SME case at the right time has significantly influenced both national government and European officials.
Watch our video: Policy for SMEs - UEAPME’s daily bread
In order to assist Member States and food business operators to better understand the new food hygiene rules, the following documents were prepared by the European Commission:
Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety: EN; DE; FR; IT
Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs: EN; DE; FR; IT
Guidance document on the implementation of certain provisions of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs: EN; DE; FR; IT
Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on the hygiene of food of animal origin: EN; DE; FR; IT
Guidance document on the implementation of certain provisions of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on the hygiene of food of animal origin: EN; DE; FR; IT
Guidance document on the implementation of procedures based on the HACCP principles, and on the facilitation of the implementation of the HACCP principles in certain food businesses: EN; DE; FR; IT
UEAPME - the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises aisbl Rue Jacques de Lalaingstraat 4 • B-1040 Brussels • Tel.: +32 2 230 75 99 • Fax: +32 2 230 78 61 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org