Sample International Relations Essay Paper on Chocolate Directive

Chocolate Directive

For several decades, the European Union (EU) law permitted its member states to decide on whether to ban chocolate products with high vegetable fats or to allow importation of vegetable fats on their own. Some chocolate manufacturing companies have opted for alternatives to cocoa butter owing to the high prices of cocoa butter. France, which is one of the EU member states, is not among the countries that did not initially support the use of vegetable oils in chocolate products. However, France has opted to develop a law that would enable the manufacturing of chocolate products that incorporate vegetable fats to enhance the market for chocolate. This simulation will focus on why vegetable fats should be allowed to replace cocoa butter in chocolate products, the appropriate percentage of fats to be allowed, as well as the timeframe to implement the directive.

France should let vegetable fats to substitute cocoa butter in the process of manufacturing chocolate products through the new directive that correspond with the EU directive. Cocoa butter has been the only source of fat that enable chocolate to maintain its attractive texture, gleam, as well as snap. However, the rising costs of cocoa butter have pushed chocolate manufacturing companies to seek other cheaper ingredients to replace cocoa butter. The French directive has proposed that vegetable fats should replace cocoa butter, but such fats should not exceed 5% of the product’s weight. The level of vegetable fats should guarantee customers of their health status.

The new French directive on chocolate would harmonize the labeling of chocolate products, in addition to establishing definitions that would enable consumers to choose their preferred products. The labeling of chocolate products may incorporate additional information, which enable the product to maintain the brand name “chocolate”. For instance, the products that incorporate vegetable fats should bear a statement that indicates vegetable fat, which should be separated from other ingredients. The chocolate products would enjoy free movement across EU states as long as they have a clear label that indicates vegetable fats as an addition to cocoa butter (Barnard 100). Thus, labeling vegetable fats as separate content should be emphasized to inform customers of the change from cocoa butter to vegetable fats. Chocolate products that have met the above criteria in France should be allowed to circulate freely within the Union’s member states, having numerous prescribed names, and not forgetting to indicate the word “chocolate”.

 The French directive has also proposed a timeframe that would oversee the implementation of the new directive. The directive should enter into force immediately after its publication, but a period of not less than 36 months is necessary to allow customers to gain adequate information concerning the change. Harmonization of the law is critical to accommodate the entry of new states that are likely to challenge the existing rules (Lebailly and Ahouissou 388).  In addition, a longer timeframe should be proposed to harmonize different standards of chocolate production, which could create trade barriers. The timeframe would allow states to convert the directive into the language that their citizens would understand.

Considering that chocolate is among the most essential sectors in the European food industry, new directive is critical to enhance the industry. The new directive would enable France to manufacture and export chocolate products that incorporate approximately 5% of vegetable fats.  Customers within the EU, as well as in other trading partners’ countries, would enjoy access to their choice of chocolate, as the prices would be set based on the ingredients. A separate label is necessary to inform customers of new changes. Other regulations that the EU states had initially proposed on chocolate production, such as social implications, should be kept intact.

Works Cited

Barnard, Catherine. The Substantive Law of the EU: The Four Freedoms. Oxford, United Kingdom : Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.

Lebailly, Philippe and Brice Ahouissou. “European directive related to chocolate composition is unfair for the African cocoa planters.” EC Agriculture 2.4 (2015): 384-390.