On 25 May the Council confirmed the recommendation previously issued by the European Parliament, to the effect that other vegetable fats may now replace up to 5% of cocoa butter in chocolate products sold within the European Union. This new legislation is a very positive development for Karlshamns AB, as the market for cocoa butter replacers is thereby considerably expanded, says Chairman of the Board Jan Ohlsson from Nordico Invest. Karlshamns is now preparing for the consequences, reviewing how the company's production capacity for speciality fats may be further improved. Harmonisation of the European chocolate standard means that free trade between the member states is now guaranteed, while it is now also possible to replace up to 5% of cocoa butter by other, clearly specified and EU approved, vegetable fats. We have many years of experience of these speciality fats (CBE, Cocoa Butter Equivalents), says Karlshamns' Sales & Marketing Director Johan Sandberg. The new 5% rule is expected to have effects on several other markets as well - such as South America, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, where similar proposed bills are already being prepared. The majority of the international chocolate and confectionery industries have already realized the advantages of speciality fats, Johan Sandberg continues - technical and economical benefits as well as potential quality improvements. The most important areas of improvement are the shelf life, melting properties, heat resistance and oxidation stability of the chocolate products. On a longer term, this ensures the customer not only a wider freedom of choice and improved quality, but also the lowest possible price. Karlshamns is one of the world's four leading producers of advanced vegetable speciality fats. Karlshamns delivers speciality fats all over the world, and is market leader in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. The food industry is Karlshamns' major customer segment and Sweden is the single largest market.