New EU Agreement enhances standards for honey, fruit juices, jams and milk

Feb 6, 2024

Author: Carla Lostrangio (AEIDL) 

On 31 January, a new political agreement was reached between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council on clearing labelling and improving composition of honey, fruit juices, jams and milk.  

The agreement aims at reviewing and enhancing the EU marketing standards applicable to these products. Standards, which are defined in the so-called ‘Breakfast Directives’, are a set of directives providing common rules on the composition, sales names, labelling and presentation of food products. The primary goal is to guarantee consumers’ ability to make informed choices.  

With respect to the latest policy agreement, co-legislators agreed on introducing changes concerning:  

  • The mandatory use of origin labelling for honey and harmonized methods to detect honey adulteration with sugar;  
  • New distinguished categories to differentiate fruit juices based on sugar percentage;  
  • Higher mandatory fruit content in jams;  
  • Simplified labelling for milk.  
What is relevant for MOVING and what is coming next?  

Mountain actors in the food value chains will be impact by these new rules, once approved. Honey, milk and fruit juices are among some mountain products, contributing to make these rural economies vibrant and viable.  

For instance, among MOVING value chains, the Slovak Carpathian mountains are focused on bio-honey production, whereas the Swiss Jura and Central Apennines value chains are based no diary production.  

The political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission is now subject to formal approval by the co-legislators. From entry into force 20 days after publication of the final text, Member States will have 18 months to transpose the new provisions into national law and 6 more months before it applies throughout the EU. 

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