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The Response of the EU Agri-Food Chain to the COVID-19 Pandemic:Chronicles from the EU and Selected Member States journal article

Francesco Montanari, Sarah Arayess, Toma Barbarasa, Alberta Clavarino, Inês Ferreira, Aude Mahy, Stelios Margaritis, Alicja Michałowska, Christina Schröck, Arthur Servé, Agnieszka-Szymecka Wesolowska, Cesare Varallo, Pilar Velázquez González

European Food and Feed Law Review, Volume 15 (2020), Issue 4, Page 336 - 356

This research article aims at providing a preliminary assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the EU agri-food sector between March and May 2020. To this end, an analysis of the policy and legislative measures adopted during this period at EU level is first provided. Then, national experiences of nine Member States – i.e. Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain – are described in detail, illustrating, for each country, the most relevant impacts and responses by competent authorities and stakeholders alike. Overall, whilst one can conclude that the EU agri-food sector has shown a high degree of resilience at the onset of the pandemic, the latter has nevertheless revealed its vulnerability to external threats and, with it, the need to guarantee a proper level of preparedness to ensure, in future, food security on the EU market during similar crisis.







Belgium ∙ Ceci n’est pas du lait – This is not milk journal article

The Use of the Reserved Names “Milk”, “Yogurt” and “Dairy” for Non-Dairy Products

Yves van Couter, Aude Mahy, Florence d’Ath

European Food and Feed Law Review, Volume 11 (2016), Issue 4, Page 328 - 332

On 10 March 2015, the Court of Appeals of Brussels reached its decision in a case involving a dispute between the dairy industry and a producer of substitutes for dairy products regarding the use of the words “milk”, “yogurt”, “cream” or “dairy” for presenting or advertising non-dairy products, such as almond milk or soya drinks. It reaffirmed that these generic names of dairy products are protected and are exclusively reserved for the dairy products in question. Products, therefore, which do not meet the specific legal requirements and characteristics described by these names may not, in principle, be labelled as “milk”, butter”, ”cream” or “yogurt”. In its judgement, the Court of Appeals did not, however, clarify whether the use of these reserved names for non-dairy products is prohibited in all circumstances, or whether they can sometimes be used in order to distinguish non-dairy products from milk products. Instead, the Court adhered close to the general principles of consumer protection and held that, in the circumstances at hand, the defendant’s use of these reserved names could mislead consumers as to the nature or composition of the non-dairy products.


Belgium ∙ Food Labelling: Belgium Clarifies Scope of Certain Categories of Food Exempt from Labelling Obligations journal article

Aude Mahy

European Food and Feed Law Review, Volume 11 (2016), Issue 5, Page 427 - 428

On 28 July 2016, the Belgian authorities published an official document interpreting the concepts of food prepacked for direct sale and food that the manufacturer directly supplies in small quantities to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer. While reference to these concepts is made in Regulation No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, no definition thereof was provided. Since these food categories benefit from certain exemptions in terms of labelling obligations, this resulted in legal uncertainty for the industry. First, food that is prepacked for direct sale is not subject to any of the heavy labelling requirements imposed on prepacked foodstuffs. Second, food directly supplied by the manufacturer in small quantities to the final consumer, or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer, does not have to label a nutrition declaration.