Ad:Business Contacts
Ads:Current issue FRUIT PROCESSINGWorld Of Fruits 2023Our technical book Apple Juice TechnologyFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Instability of fruit-based beveragesFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Don’t give clogs a chanceOrange Juice ChainOur German magazine FLÜSSIGES OBST

FoodChain ID, a pioneer in global sustainability certification, and ReSeed, the first provider of full lifecycle carbon credit traceability, have announced a partnership to increase transparency in measurement and verification of sustainable practices in the agri-food supply chain. With the goal to support a healthy planet, the partnership will leverage each company’s unique, world-class expertise to incentivise, measure and verify the progress of carbon sequestration through regenerative agriculture practices under a new carbon credit verification standard.

The food and agriculture industry currently contributes over one-third of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations. However, less than 1 % of carbon credits on the market are sourced from agriculture.1 As consumer awareness of the industry’s role in accelerating global warming has grown, food companies have responded with more sustainable products and product claims. In fact, on-pack carbon emission contribution claims for new products grew at 33 % CAGR between July 2018 and June 2023,2 making such claims one of the fastest growing sustainability claim categories in food and beverage. In response to the claim proliferation, the carbon credit verification partnership is designed to increase measurement transparency and accountability for sustainability progress and carbon credit offsets in the agri-food supply chain.

Additionally, the carbon credit verification partnership incentivises farmers to invest more in regenerative agriculture practices while complying with European Union deforestation-free regulatory requirements (EUDR). Finally, by combining the program with other farm-level audits, such as Organic (EU, USDA and others), GLOBALG.A.P., RTRS, RSPO, Bonsucro or ProTerra, the program offers efficiencies for farmers. The first joint programs have launched with close to a thousand farmers in Brazil to implement deforestation-free, regenerative practices.

ReSeed, with its AI-powered digital ledger transparency platform, will collect and process data for carbon credit measurement protocols to allow monetisation and incentivisation for farmers deploying sustainable practices in the field. ReSeed’s team will also leverage their legal and technical knowledge to validate carbon estimates under international standards and provide field technical assistance to sort eligible farmers based on sustainability standards for farming activities.

FoodChain ID, with over 25 years of experience in global sustainability certifications, will serve as the exclusive verifier for the carbon credit partnership under ISO 14065 accreditation. FoodChain ID’s independent technical experts will perform yearly audits of farm practices under international sustainability standards, adding third-party credibility to the measurement of carbon sequestration in soil.

1Ivy S. So, Barbara K. Haya, Micah Elias. May 2023. Voluntary Registry Offsets Database, Berkeley Carbon Trading Project, University of California, Berkeley.
2Innova Insights/Nutrition Insights, July 2018 to June 2023.

Sweegen, a global leader in wellness ingredient and taste modulation technologies, is addressing the pressing issue of mislabeling within the stevia industry, specifically concerning Reb M stevia sold under false claims intentionally.

Sweegen is the primary producer of the highly sought-after non-GMO Bestevia® Reb M, made with a proprietary clean bioconversion method. Through independent testing, the company has determined that certain third-party Reb M products sold to food and beverage companies under label claims of “Reb-M 95 %,” “Bioconversion Reb-M 95 %,” or “Stevia (Organic) Extract Reb-M 95 %” are not made through extraction or bioconversion.

These false claims have significant implications for stakeholders, including food and beverage companies, consumers, and the stevia technology community.

Food and beverage companies are confronted with significant challenges arising from mislabeling, particularly the erosion of consumer trust and brand reputation. The authenticity of products is paramount to maintaining consumer confidence and loyalty, and any discrepancy between product labeling and actual content can significantly undermine trust. For companies that prioritize transparency and integrity, the risk of reputational damage is particularly acute if their products become associated with false claims. This underscores the critical importance of accurate labeling practices in preserving the trustworthiness of brands.

Protecting consumer rights through transparency and honesty

Consumers rely on accurate food labeling for making informed choices, especially when it comes to health-related decisions. False claims can lead to misjudgment, and consumers may unknowingly consume products that don’t meet their dietary preferences or health needs.

Some consumers may choose products made through specific processes for environmental sustainability or naturalness. False claims undermine consumers’ ability to make choices aligned with their values.

Respecting and protecting Intellectual Property (IP)

Sweegen places a high value on IP and innovation on its high-purity Bestevia Reb M made through bioconversion within the stevia technology community. The company is committed to upholding the integrity of its IP and respecting others’ innovations. By and large, Sweegen is dedicated to IP protection, ensuring a fair and competitive landscape and encouraging continued advancements in sweetener technologies.

Reiteration of Reb-M patent for non-alcoholic applications

Sweegen emphasizes its patent rights, particularly regarding its Bestevia Reb M for non-alcoholic applications. The company upholds its patents and ensures that ist non-GMO Bestevia Reb M innovations are appropriately recognized and protected. Sweegen believes in fostering a climate that rewards genuine advancements and respects the IP rights of all industry stakeholders.

Offering authenticity testing for Reb-M samples

To further enhance transparency and provide assurance to the food and beverage industry, Sweegen is extending an offer to test all Reb-M samples for authenticity. This initiative aims to assist companies in verifying the integrity of their stevia products and reinforces Sweegen’s commitment to maintaining the highest stevia quality standards in the industry.

Mislabeling on purpose threatens market differentiation and creates confusion about investing in cutting-edge technologies. Innovators in the industry risk losing their competitive edge if competitors intentionally make false claims about similar products. Recognizing and rewarding genuine innovations becomes crucial in fostering a marketplace that values and encourages technological advancements. Ensuring accurate labeling practices is not only a matter of compliance but also fundamental to sustaining a fair and competitive market landscape.

Continued investigation into adulterated Reb-M

Sweegen is actively investigating reports of adulterated Reb M originating from China and entering the U.S. and EU markets directly or indirectly. The company is committed to thorough research and plans to collaborate with relevant authorities to report findings to U.S. and EU customs. Sweegen is determined to address any issues related to product authenticity and maintain the highest standards in the stevia industry.

In addition to consumer trust, regulatory compliance is a central concern for food and beverage companies. Regulatory bodies establish specific guidelines and standards for labeling food products, especially those incorporating novel ingredients such as stevia produced through various methods. Companies found to violate these regulations may face legal consequences. Adhering to established guidelines is a legal imperative and key to ensuring consumer safety and maintaining the industry’s integrity.

It is essential to note that bioconversion stevia holds the advantage of claiming non-GMO verification. Sweegen believes that accurately labeling products as bioconversion stevia aligns with regulatory approval and provides consumers with clear information about this innovative sweetener’s unique characteristics and benefits.

False claims undermine the scientific integrity of the industry. Accurate representation of research and development is crucial for advancing knowledge within the community.

Sweegen remains steadfast in its commitment to innovation, transparency, and consumer safety. The company will continue collaborating with industry stakeholders, regulatory bodies, and customs authorities to uphold the highest standards in producing and labeling stevia products.