Revision of EU marketing standards for agricultural products

EESC opinion: Revision of EU marketing standards for agricultural products

Key points


  • has already stated that promoting healthy and sustainable diets  is crucial for improving human health and the well-being of ecosystems, society in general and rural areas in particular;
  • welcomes the proposal to revise the Honey Directive by introducing mandatory origin labelling to increase transparency for consumers, but regrets its lack of ambition in implementing and advancing additional measures to fight against fraud;
  • urges the adoption of more ambitious measures to protect European honey producers, enforce rigorous marketing standards, conduct systematic testing and traceability checks on honey imported into the EU, and require country of origin labelling for honey blends; this labelling should include the respective percentage share of each honey origin, presented in descending order;
  • strongly emphasises the need for prompt action in finding a reliable and accessible analytical method, which it considers a precondition to the implementation of mandatory origin labelling in order to protect consumers from fraud;
  • considers it important to ensure that companies (specially small- and medium- sized ones) are not burdened with excessive costs;
  • emphasises the need for specific labels stating "ultrafiltered" and "pasteurised" to clearly communicate the changes that occur during these processes, which reduce the natural properties and benefits of honey;
  • asks for an evaluation of the potential that allowing the indication "no fruit juices contain added sugars" to be displayed alongside the product name could encourage greater juice consumption, to the detriment of whole fresh fruits;
  • proposes that nectar producers be required on the one hand to include the statement "contains added sugars" when applicable and to gradually phase out the statement "with no added sugars" on the other hand;
  • considers that increasing the fruit content of extra jams beyond the current 450 g/kg will not result in a final product with less sugars; on the other hand, it supports increasing the fruit content in standard jams to 400 g/kg.