Policy Picks: EU deforestation law, Indonesia risk-based processed food imports system, regulatory push for natural colours and more feature in our round-up
More hikes imminent: EU’s deforestation stance set to cause food price rises – policy experts
The EU’s recent approval of its controversial deforestation regulation is expected to drive up the cost of palm oil and other affected commodities, and thus food and beverage prices, amid ongoing inflationary pressures that have already affected a majority of countries globally.
The European Union parliament voted on and approved its long-debated deforestation regulation on September 13 2022, turning a deaf ear to strong opposition voiced by multiple countries, particularly producer countries of commodities such as palm oil which would be the most heavily impacted by the new regulation.
Limited access: Indonesia drafts new risk-based rules for imported processed foods
Indonesia has decided to push ahead with plans to tighten regulations governing imported processed foods by introducing a risk-based assessment system.
Indonesia has been debating the possibility of introducing new trade controls on imported processed foods into the country since 2021, but has only just announced new draft regulations from the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM).
Beyond just a trend: Policy measures further pushing Asian food colouring sector towards natural
Regulatory pressure from Asian governments will drive food and beverage firms to use natural colours, with it rapidly becoming less of a trend and more of a necessity.
Natural colours and colouring foods are nothing new to the food and beverage industry in APAC, but apart from the Oceania markets of Australia and New Zealand, food firms in many Asian countries have been slower to adopt.
According to food colours specialist firm Oterra, regulatory limitations in the various markets are expected to be a big driver for companies to convert from artificial to natural options.
Melatonin, green tea extract: Australian regulator considering changes to rules governing use in supplements
Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has proposed changes to the scheduling of melatonin and green tea extract, with new dosage indications for the former and a completely new entry into the Poisons Standard for the latter.
The hormone melatonin, produced naturally in the pineal gland, helps to regulate the circadian rhythm or natural sleep cycles through its release when the body is exposed to a dim or dark environment. Consumers often use melatonin products to stimulate production of the hormone in cases of disrupted sleep cycles and as such, can be used to treat jetlag as it can reset what many call the ‘body clock’.
Expelling excessive packaging: China includes more food categories to slash waste
China has expanded efforts to eliminate excessive packaging with rules now covering more food categories, in addition to implementing a multi-ministerial governance system to regulate the supply chain.
China has been on a mission to remove what it has deemed ‘excessive packaging’ in the country since 2021, with focus for the food industry previously having been mostly centralised in the festive foods segment such as mooncakes and rice dumplings.
Recently, the government has moved to further expand this regulatory control to include more types of food products, particularly fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, health-focused foods, takeaway foods and foods purchased via e-commerce.