Charlotte Bedford of Ball Packaging Europe on FCM industry challenges

Ahead of this May's Global Food Contact forum, we spoke to Charlotte Bedford, Regulatory Affairs Manager at Ball Packaging Europe to get her insights on the biggest challenges faced by the FCM industry, what she's most looking forward to at the event and more.

Q. What do you see as the biggest challenge industry are facing at the moment?

How to develop legislation in a way that everyone can agree on, NGOs, industry, European Commission and Parliament. Not only are we struggling with the absence of legislation for many food contact materials, we have also had no authoritative progression with regards to NIAS. How to create this amount of legislation in a small period of time seems to be impossible using the current approach, therefore must we adopt a new one? If so, what would this need to look like to be sufficient and agreed on by all member states?

Q. What topics relating to Global Food Contact are of interest to you at the moment and why?

  • Brexit – implications this has on legislation. The European Commission are yet to confirm any possible changes due to uncertainty. This may affect how businesses run.
  • Non-harmonised legislation – the material I am concerned with has no harmonised legislation, this is becoming more and more of an issue and ways to progress this are uncertain.
  • Current review of Framework Regulation 1935/2004 – most other updates to legislation are on hold until this is complete. Will it incorporate NIAS?
  • NIAS – more requirements from customers and authorities regarding NIAS procedure regardless of the fact there is still no legal requirement nor a defined and accepted method.
  • India FCM legislation – some recent changes in this legislation.

Q. What are you discussing at Global Food Contact this year?

Non-harmonised materials and the affect that this lack of legislation has on industry, specifying on coated metal packaging.

Q. Are there any sessions within the agenda that you are particularly interested in attending? 

  • EU- Core developments and changes relating to European food contact legislation – a concise overview of key changes and updates that are vital to know
  • Regulating food contact materials in Europe - A member state perspective
  • Non harmonised materials: A perspective on the current EU legislative framework for food contact materials (FCM)
  • Sustainability and the demand to replace plastic
  • Food contact regulations in India

Charlotte's presentation will go into more detail on the absence of harmonised food contact legislation and the challenges caused by this in Lisbon this May. Her presentation will cover:

  • Current status of food contact material legislation - what is and isn't harmonised?
  • Member state motivation to create legislation at a national level in the absence of harmonised legislation, and the issues this creates for the industry
  • Progress of current harmonisation efforts - is a new approach needed?

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