Leading European Foodgroup Say Goodbye to Meat to Concentrate on Plant-based Market

Following the sale of meat company Enkco, Vivera Foodgroup is entering a meatless future with the remaining plant-based companies in its portfolio which includes Vivera (one of the largest producers of plant-based products in Europe), Culifrost and Dutch Tofu Company.

According to the group, it has “strong ambitions and aims at large-scale investments in expanding production capacity and product range,” which could mean new plant-based products hitting supermarket shelves in the near future.

Vivera is well-known for its meat replacement products such as its ‘ground-breaking’ steak, and is keen to expand the production capacity of its Netherlands-based factory to meet the “rapidly developing market demand” for plant-based foods.

CEO of Vivera Foodgroup, Willem van Weede, said: “We are one of the first companies in the world’s meat industry to say a final goodbye to meat. From now on we only focus on plant-based foods which are really conquering the world.

“More and more consumers are discovering that plant-based products can be just as tasty as real meat and have many benefits for personal health, environmental impact and animal welfare. As a result of the sale of our meat activities we think we can boost even more Vivera’s rapid international growth”

Source: Vegan Food and Living

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Vegan Strawberry Soft Ice-cream

IKEA introduces a vegan strawberry soft ice to the IKEA Bistro menu in Europe, starting from April 2019.

The new soft ice is fruit-based, made with strawberry puree. This new, smooth soft ice has almost half the carbon footprint compared to its dairy-based friend.

European MEPs Failed to Block Use of Phosphates in Kebabs

Kathy Askew wrote . . . . . . .

The European Parliament has voted down proposals to block the use of phosphates in meat cooked on spits.

MEPs narrowly rejected an objection to proposals from the European Commission to allow phosphates to be used as additives in products such as donor kebabs.

The use of “frozen vertical meat spits​” is not currently authorised under EU law. Nevertheless, according to the Greens in the European Parliament, the meat industry has “for a long time”​ been using phosphate additives in kebabs “on a large scale”​.

The EC wants to legalise this practice and introduced a draft regulation that would permit phosphoric acid, phosphates and polyphosphates as food additives in these meat preparations.

The objection was raised by Green/EFA MEP Bart Staes and the Socialists & Democrat’s Christel Schaldemose. They said a ban on phosphates would “protect public health”​.

In order to overrule the Commission, Staes and Schaldermose required the backing of an absolute majority of MEPs plus one, meaning at least 376 votes. During the vote on Wednesday (13 December), 373 MEPs rejected the EC proposal by backing the objection, while 272 MEPs voted in favour of allowing phosphates in meat cooked on skewers, while 30 abstained.

‘Hands off the kebab’ – EPP Group

Ahead of the vote, the rightward-leaning EPP Group vowed to support the European Commission’s proposal to authorise the use of phosphates in frozen meat spits.

“The EPP Group will do everything in its power to stop the scaremongering and avoid a European kebab ban,”​ said Renate Sommer MEP, the EPP Group’s spokeswoman for the file.

Sommer said the group it was resisting the proposal because research suggests the level of phosphates contained in kebabs is “negligible” – while the average intake of phosphates from Coca-Cola is “much higher”.

“The changes in the EU legislation concerning phosphates are meant to make it more difficult for the control authorities in ​Member States to impose such a ban without concrete argumentation, and are hence necessary,”​ Sommer argued.

Is there a health risk?

The EPP Group also maintains no evidence supports the suggestion that consumption of phosphates represents a risk to health.

“There is no proof that phosphates have negative health effects,” Sommer insisted.

However, the Greens maintain there are “serious concerns​” over the health implications.

“Our objection to the Commission’s proposals is nothing to do with wanting to ban kebabs. We want people to be able to enjoy all their favourite foods, but without the addition of potentially dangerous and unnecessary food additives.”

The European Food Safety Authority is currently reviewing the health risks associated with phosphate additives. Its findings will be published before the end of next year.

Source: Food Navigator

Infographic: How Europe Monitors Pesticide Residues in Food

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EU Organic ‘Euro-Leaf’ Logo Becomes Mandatory

Following a 2-year transition period to help operators adapt to the new labeling rules and avoid waste of existing packaging, organic food producers are required to display the new EU organic “Euro-Leaf” logo on prepackaged food products that have been produced in any of EU Member States effective July 1. The logo is still optional for non-prepackaged and imported organic foods., and other private, regional or national logos will continue to be allowed to appear alongside the EU label

In addition to the logo, the new labeling rules also include the compulsory indications of place of farming of the products’ ingredients and code number of the body that had been in charge of the controls.

The new rules also cover organic aquaculture production of fish, shellfish and seaweed. The rules set EU-wide conditions for the aquatic production environment, the separation of organic and non-organic units and specify animal welfare conditions including maximum stocking densities, a measurable indicator for welfare. The rules specify that biodiversity should be respected, and do not allow the use of induced spawning by artificial hormones. Organic feeds should be used supplemented by fish feeds derived from sustainably managed fisheries. Special provisions are made for bivalve mollusk production and for seaweed.

“Our hope is that the new EU logo can develop into a widely recognized symbol of organic food production across the EU, providing consumers with confidence that the goods are produced entirely in-line with the strict EU organic farming regulations,” said EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development Dacian Cioloş. “I hope that these changes will give a boost to the organic farming sector, but also further enhance consumer protection.”

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