EU Regulation n. 665/2014: “Mountain product”

This Regulation, implementation of Regulation (EU) 1151/2012 (“quality package”), establishes the conditions necessary to use the optional quality term “mountain product”.

In particular, in order to prevent consumers being misled, it refers to products of animal origin (Article 1), feed (Article 2), apiculture products (Article 3), products of plant origin (Article 4), other ingredients (Article 5) and to the processing operations that can be carried out outside of the mountain areas, but not as far as 30km from these areas (Article 6).

Article 1 – Products of animal origin

1.   The term ‘mountain product’ may be applied to products produced by animals in mountain areas as defined in Article 31(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 and processed in such areas.

2.   The term ‘mountain product’ may be applied to products made from animals that are reared for at least the last two thirds of their life in those mountain areas, if the products are processed in such areas.

3.   By way of derogation from paragraph 2, the term ‘mountain product’ may be applied to products made from transhumant animals that have been reared for at least one quarter of their life in transhumance grazing on pastures in mountain areas.

Article 2 – Feedstuffs

1.   For the purposes of Article 31(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, feedstuffs for farm animals shall be deemed to come essentially from mountain areas if the proportion of the annual animal diet that cannot be produced in mountain areas, expressed as a percentage of dry matter, does not exceed 50 % and, in the case of ruminants, 40 %.

2.   By way of derogation from paragraph 1, as regards pigs, the proportion of feedstuffs that cannot be produced in mountain areas, expressed as a percentage of dry matter, shall not exceed 75 % of the annual animal diet.

3.   Paragraph 1 shall not apply to feedstuffs for transhumant animals referred to in Article 1(3) when reared outside mountain areas.

Article 3 – Products of beekeeping

1.   The term ‘mountain product’ may be applied to products of beekeeping if the bees have collected the nectar and the pollen only in mountain areas.

2.   By way of derogation from Article 31(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, sugar fed to bees shall not be required to come from mountain areas.

Article 4 – Products of plant origin

By way of derogation from Article 31(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, the term ‘mountain product’ may be applied to products of plant origin only if the plant is grown in mountain areas as defined in Article 31(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012.

Article 5 – Ingredients

When used in products referred to in Articles 1 and 4, the following ingredients may come from outside mountain areas, provided that they do not represent more than 50 % of the total weight of the ingredients:

(a)

products not listed in Annex I to the Treaty; and

(b)

herbs, spices and sugar.

Article 6 – Processing operations outside mountain areas

1.   By way of derogation from Article 31(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 and Article 1(1) and (2) of this Regulation, the following processing operations may take place outside mountain areas, provided that the distance from the mountain area in question does not exceed 30 km:

(a)

processing operations for the production of milk and milk products in processing facilities in place on 3 January 2013;

(b)

slaughtering of animals and cutting and deboning of carcasses;

(c)

pressing of olive oil.

2.   As regards products processed on their territory, Member States may determine that the derogation in paragraph 1, point (a) will not apply or that the processing facilities must be located within a distance, to be specified, of less than 30 km from the mountain area in question.

Entry into force and application: June 26th, 2014

Protein Innovation

High interest in protein content and high-protein lines across the food and drinks market is continuing to develop, despite the fact that most European and North American consumers already get enough protein in their diets. This will be just one of the areas addressed by Innova Market Insights at its “Taste the Trend” Pavilion (Booth #3651) at the IFT Food Expo in New Orleans, June 21-24.

According to Innova Market Insights, the protein trend is driven by increasing health concerns – primarily weight management – plus the move of sports and performance products into the mainstream and targeted at the more generally active, rather than just athletes and sportsmen. Another trend on the rise is the Paleo diet, focusing on lean protein, while avoiding processed foods and sugars.

“The time is right for protein innovation,” says Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. Williams cites a number of drivers, including the need to feed a growing global population, an alarming rise in sarcopenia (declining muscle mass, particularly among an aging population), and the economic and environmental costs of existing protein sources. “Proteins have diverse application potential, with opportunities for alternative vegetarian options, and new protein sources – such as microalgae – alongside existing and novel dairy-based and vegetable sources, such as soy, beans and grains,” she adds.

Innova Market Insights data indicate that nearly 3% of global food and beverage launches in the 12 months ending 31 March, 2014, were marketed on a “high-protein” or “source-of-protein” positioning, rising to 6% in the US.

Demand for whey protein specifically is soaring as a result of growing demand in certain Asian markets, as well as its rising popularity as a natural, healthy ingredient, particularly in sports, medical and infant nutrition, and in weight management. While vegetables lead the list for the number of published protein patents in food and drinks, whey has risen from eighth position in 2012 to third position in 2013. At the same time, the number of nut and seed protein patents has also risen sharply, from single figures in 2012 to more than 200 in 2013. Even more exciting has been the strong activity in patent actions relating to algae-derived proteins.