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What fruit juice are you drinking?

Date

14 Dec 2011

Sections

Health & Consumers
Agriculture & Food

The European Parliament adopted today a report on a Fruit Juices Directive which aims to improve production standards, set rules for quality and labelling of fruit juices and help consumers make healthier choices.   Fruit juices sales are increasing in Europe, for example Europeans consume 300 million tons of orange juice every year, half of world consumption. But do we really know what are we drinking? Is it a real fruit juice or a juice made from concentrate or nectars?

The report includes the following main provisions:

• composition and authorised ingredients (forbidden to classify as fruit juice or nectars if it only comprises a minor ingredient),

• use of descriptions and product names (tackling the problem of insufficient consumer information, making a clear distinction between category of juice and nectar),

• manufacturing specifications and standards (producers will no longer be allowed to add sugar as an ingredient to genuine fruit juices),

• labelling rules (exact  information to consumers on the difference between juices which contain no added sugar and nectars and concentrate which can contain additional sugar or other sweeteners).

After the vote, Fréderique Ries (MR, Belgium), ALDE spokesperson commented:

"I welcome this agreement which is broadly "consumer friendly". In practice, this text will make it possible to ensure clear consumer information in particular with the inclusion of the principal fruit(s) in the name of the product. It will no longer be possible for manufacturers and retailers to name fruit juices or nectars on the basis of only a minor ingredient, which is currently a common practice. For instance in some "strawberry juice" products the main fruit included is actually apple."


"On the other hand, I appreciate the fact that we maintain the specificity of each national market with a clear denomination of the products: "natural fruit juices" for example in Spain and Belgium, "fruit juice containing concentrate" in Germany and "nectar" in Italy. Finally, from a health point of view, it is particularly good news that within 18 months following the entry into force of this revised directive the addition of sugar will become prohibited in all fruit juices", she added.

Amongst other proposals, the vote underlines the specific groups of consumers, such as diabetics, children and people with weight problems who should be made aware of what their drinks contain.

The rules will be applied also to non-EU producers or imported products.

For more information, please contact:

Corlett Neil - Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84

Halko Norbert - Tel:+32 2 284 26 02 Mob:+32 484 75 17 22

Web: http://www.alde.eu

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