While the past year has been marked by supply chain challenges, growing inflation and the ongoing climate crisis, Fedima has been particularly focused on defending the interests of its members when it came to EU regulatory developments.
The association is the pan-European representative of manufacturers and suppliers of ingredients to the bakery, confectionery and patisserie industries founded over 50 years ago in Italy and now based in Brussels.
The umbrella body for the national associations of 13 EU countries - such as ABIM (UK&I), ANCIPA (Portugal) and BVZ (Germany), among others; representing 200 companies across Europe; more than 26,000 direct employees; and approximately €6.7bn in annual turnover - Fedima plays a vital role in EU lawmaking around bakery products and their ingredients.
“Our aim is to strengthen the voice and defend the interests of the sector by participating in the discussions on current key regulatory topics, such as the up and coming EU front-of-pack nutrition labelling system and by continuing to take concrete steps in promoting a common sustainability ambition across the value chain,” writes Fedima president Johan Saunders in the foreword.
The past year has been severely impacted by several overlapping political, economic and social issues, including the ongoing war in Ukraine and its impact on food security. As such, Fedma has worked with other players in the value chain - including FoodDrinkEurope and the Bread Initiative - to mitigate the impact of the conflict, penning joint letters of concern to the European Commission and Member State experts.
The climate and environment crises, too, was never off the radar, and formed the guiding theme in the development of both a Code of Conduct and a Fedima Grant to support local sustainability initiatives.
As a longstanding member of the Bread Initiative - alongside AIBI, CEBP, COFALEC and European Flour Millers - Fedima frequently coordinates joint actions on common issues. In February, the Bread Initiative sent a letter to the European Commission’s Directorates General for Energy, Competition and Internal Market raising concerns of the energy crisis caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, along with recommendations for action.
Additionally, in a joint BI letter on acrylamide, Fedima shared its views on the review of current benchmark levels, and the setting of new and maximum levels under Regulation 2017/2158. Fedima is also a registered stakeholder for the European Food Safety Agency (EFA).
With a growing number of companies in the ingredients sector more engaged on sustainably growing the bakery sector, Fedima has created a Grant to encourage the drive and highlight an outstanding project, which demonstrates a long-lasting impact. The Fedima Grant will be launched in early 2024 and €20,000 will be awarded every second year to an initiative that has a positive impact on its local community, such as by promoting a circular economy, sustainable packaging or good nutrition.
Meanwhile, Fedima’s industry-wide Code of Conduct for Responsible Sourcing is aimed at suppliers of the bakery and patisserie industry in Europe and details the common standards on compliance with laws and regulations, quality and safety of products, ethical business practices, respect for human rights, health and safety, environment, animal welfare, supply chain transparency and continuous improvement. Going a step further, the Code also offers juidance on how to implement these essential principles.
Inkwood Research was commission to provide an indepth analysis on the European bakery ingredients market, breaking it down by country and looking into topics like trends, recent developments in packaging, product launches and marketing campaigns, product analysis, brand share, key players and other market data.
Fedima also ponders the front-of-pack nutrition labelling system and its implications for the industry; looks at responsible sourcing and the renewed international focus on deforestation; and examines how the drive for sustainability is impacting the marketing message, while providing tips to design an effective communication and social media strategy.