Equal food quality throughout the EU
Question for written answer E-001620-17
to the Commission
Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz (PPE) , Pál Csáky (PPE) , György Hölvényi (PPE) , Norbert Erdős (PPE)
In 2014 the Hungarian food safety authority conducted an investigation in which it examined and compared the quality of the same branded products: the sample items analysed were obtained from the retail units of Hungarian and Austrian department store chains. During the investigation, 24 identical or very similar product samples were compared in terms of their organoleptic properties and composition parameters and the veracity of their labelling. It transpired from the findings that in Austria a well-known hazelnut cream was softer and creamier; a popular soft drink was made with higher quality aromas and 0.6% less sugar; a well-known canned tuna product contained 2% more tuna; and in the case of a popular brand of packet meat broth, each packet contained 12 grams more than in Hungary.
After completing a food quality investigation following the same principles, the Slovak Ministry of Agriculture reached similar findings.
It is unacceptable that a significant part of the products made by multinational food manufacturers and distributed in central and eastern Europe are worse quality than those sold by the companies under the same brand names in western European Member States. Therefore, we call on the Commission to take immediate measures to put paid to this practice.
1. Has the Commission received direct complaints about the poor quality of certain foods in the past five years?2. If so, how many?
3. Is the Commission willing to draft legislation to tackle unfair retail practices that would protect agricultural produce suppliers and safeguard the quality of food?