Traceability is a buzz word for everything connected with food in Europe and, I believe, globally. There are many reasons for this:
Public and animal health,
Consumer confidence in food,
Varying degrees of honesty in the market place
Marketing opportunities (slow food, local food, spinning stories about the farmer or the brewer)
Governments and EU bodies’ wish to enforce legislation/taxation/control subsidies.
According to a report in Beverage Daily, the European Union has recently announced proposals for a new electronic system (EMCS) for manufacturers of products requiring excise duties.
The measures can reduce losses and fraud during the transportation of products like alcoholic beverages, and simplify the current system of excise charges for beer.
Rodolphe de Looz-Corswarem, secretary general for the Brewers of Europe, welcomed the system, which he believes can simplify the administrative process for manufacturers and encourage greater trade of national beers in the bloc.
“We hope that Member States will finally enable consumers to benefit from the internal market for goods such as beer and approve the Commission proposal, where beer acquired for personal consumption is subject to taxes from the country of purchase,” he stated. “In today’s world of online shopping, consumers in Europe should not be restricted as to where they order their favourite beer.”
If there is one thing that makes me wary, it is industry associations claiming to speak for the consumers….
On the other hand, beer drinkers across Europe will welcome measures making it easier to find out where their beers really come from. It will also make it easier for small scale brewers to show what is real craft beer and what is macro brewers sailing under a false flag.