Political authorities in several Central and Eastern European EU Member States have alleged that the food products sold to consumers in their markets are of inferior quality compared to similar products sold in Western European ones. The food and drink industry is taking these allegations very seriously; all consumers are considered as equal and deserve the best quality and the highest safety we can guarantee.
Companies may slightly adapt recipes to take into account local taste preferences, the availability of regionally-sourced ingredients, reformulation to support more balanced diets or to adhere to local legislation. It is however important to highlight that these differences certainly do not mean that different recipes imply “dual” or “inferior” quality from one market to the next.
Europe’s food and drink industry has been cooperating with the European Commission since this issue was raised at European level and has committed to open dialogue. FoodDrinkEurope has had several meetings with Commissioner Jourová and FoodDrinkEurope’s Director General, Mella Frewen, represented the industry, as well as the brand manufacturers and retailers, at the Summit "For equal quality of products for all", which was held in Bratislava, on 13 October. The food and drink industry welcomed the commitment made by Commissioner Jourová to organise an inclusive dialogue at EU and national level between authorities, consumer representatives and industry stakeholders to discuss the alleged 'dual quality' of food in Europe.
It is in everyone’s interest to address the real concerns of consumers, politicians and companies in an open dialogue, so trust is maintained in the EU’s largest manufacturing sector and provider of safe, tasty and affordable food and drink products, which millions of consumers enjoy every day.