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July 27, 2017

Bahlsen unifies production amid “dual standards” row

German cookie and biscuit maker Bahlsen has moved to unify its production standards in Europe.

By Andy Coyne

German cookie and biscuit maker Bahlsen has moved to unify its production standards in Europe.

The move comes amid a row over alleged ‘dual-quality’ food on sale in the EU. Some countries in central and eastern Europe have claimed identically-branded products are being sold in different parts of the EU with different recipes.

Bahlsen – which has a manufacturing facility in Poland serving eastern Europe – has acted to unify its production standards. It will now put butter – as prescribed in the original recipe – into products sold there instead of palm oil.

The company has not specifically said it is bowing down to pressure from eastern European EU members – and attempts by just-food to get a response from the firm proved unsuccessful – but the company was one of the food manufacturers named in reports citing differing ingredients for the same products sold in western and eastern Europe.

A row over so-called ‘dual standards’ from food producers has been rumbling on for some time, with countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia urging the EU to create a level playing field.

The former communist countries which are now members of the EU feel they are getting a raw deal from food producers – having to pay the same money for inferior products to those sold in the west.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico called the practice of delivering products with lower-quality contents to post-communist countries degrading and unacceptable.

Bahlsen , a family business based in Hannover, has been producing cookies since 1889. 

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