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Support, advise, protect

Esther Mills-Roberts
Communications Manager, Health Food Manufacturers’ Association

After two years of ‘doing business’ mostly online via Zoom calls and the like, the HFMA’s annual meeting of members was a time to come together to celebrate all that’s good about our industry, a time to learn, laugh and support one another as we all move forwards into the second half of this year and into the next.

And, it’s fair to say, the way that we’ve been ‘doing business’ over the pandemic made it even more important to maintain close and meaningful relationships at every level, from end-user, all the way up to government. This is what the HFMA does best, and a vast amount of time is spent making sure that we’re well positioned to be as influential as possible on the key issues affecting our industry. With a team of expert advisers, regulatory experts, media monitoring and parliamentary advisers, we position effectively to make the voice of our industry heard. We continue our mission to Support, Advise, Protect.

So how do we do this? By making the most of opportunities; setting high standards and trustworthy consumer information are at the forefront of the HFMA ethos and, as a great example of this, we have set up a Collagen Products Special Interest group. Championed by key companies within our industry supplying and selling collagen products, the group will lay out guidelines for minimum standards within the industry, clear collagen messaging and aims to increase awareness of the value of collagen for health.

Companies with products containing titanium dioxide have been updated on the regulatory landscape for titanium dioxide across the globe, including new developments from Canada. The global view can support a post-Brexit approach, helping to keep products on the UK market where they would otherwise be banned in the EU. Thankfully, the UK Food Standards Agency called for further review of this additive, and has engaged key independent UK safety committees before arriving at their decision about its status in the UK.

So what of Canada? Health Canada, which has been looking into the ’State of the Science of Titanium Dioxide as a Food Additive’, found that their Food Directorate “did not identify any compelling health concerns for the use of TiO2 as a constituent of food”. This is helpful to the position taken here in the UK by the FSA, and counters EFSA’s conclusion that it should be banned. In short, the UK approach for diligent safety assessment allowed more time to reflect on a global, rather than just an EU, perspective. This is good news for businesses operating in the UK.

The FSA’s list of nearly 12,000 CBD products authorised to remain on the market has been published, meaning that this number of products remain on sale in England and Wales. The HFMA has been advocating an approach that keeps the UK CBD market ‘open for business’, within appropriate boundaries, and for products that have met required procedures. Within that, we have been a strong voice for our member companies when needed. These products have demonstrated that they have made a credible application for Novel Food authorisation to the FSA, and new products will not be allowed onto the market until their full Novel Food application has been approved.

It’s appropriate to say a big “thank you” to all who supported the HFMA in our launch of HealthyDoesIt two years ago and, by now you’ve no doubt heard that the NAHS will be taking it forward in the Autumn. We’re so pleased to have initiated this significant project, and are thrilled that the NAHS will be making the most of it on ‘the coal face’ with retailers in the driving seat. We are proud to belong to an industry based on a foundation of inclusion, collaboration, respect and encouragement.

Tel: 0208 481 7100

Email: [email protected]

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