39. AMENDED DRAFT DIRECTIVE RELATING
TO COCOA AND CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS (6582/98 COM(97) 682)
Letter from Jeff Rooker MP, Minister of
State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to Lord Tordoff,
Chairman of the Committee
As you may recall, the above proposal was debated
in the House of Lords on 30 April 1998.
I am writing to update your Committee on developments since then.
The Fourth Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum
(8164/96 of 10 May 1999) indicated that the German Presidency
has been trying hard to build on the progress on the cocoa and
chocolate products proposal, with some success as far as the remaining
technical points are concerned, and that it now appears that Member
States may be prepared to modify their positions sufficiently
to enable Council to agree a Common Position in the near future.
The latest Presidency compromise proposal (7824/99
ADD 1copy enclosed) contains elements which we could accept
only in the context of a global compromise, such as the limitations
on the vegetable fats which can be used. On the other hand, it
provides for the retention of a derogation for UK milk chocolate
which is of particular importance to us. Also, although we have
not been able to persuade other Member States that double labelling
of chocolate containing non-cocoa vegetable fats is unnecessary,
we have been successful in arguing against front of package labelling.
The changes to the earlier proposal have been discussed with industry
representatives who are prepared to accept them, as they will
not require changes to existing production practices. The outstanding
comitology issues were discussed at COREPER last week and the
Presidency hopes to reach agreement on a Common Position at the
Internal Market Council on 21 June.
I hope this is helpful.
8 June 1999
11 See correspondence printed in Correspondence
with Ministers, 4th Report, Session 1998-99 p 121-122. Back