Monday, 20 May 2013

Stand by your jam - 22nd May 2013 is the jammie deadline

Say goodbye to jam as we know it...its about to happen.
You might have missed the latest about the change in jam regulations in England, that are about to be decided upon in the coming days and weeks.

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ) have launched what can only be described as a non publicised ‘public’ consultation about suggested changes to the ratios of sugar to fruit in the making of jam.

These are known and the Jam and similar products (England)Regulations 2013. This consultation is not restricted just to jams as it also affects marmalade and curds (similar products). 

The Regulations will incorporate four main changes:
·       Option 1: Reduce the permitted sugar level for jams from 60% to 50%
·       Option 2: Reduce the permitted sugar level for jams from 60% to 55% with an ingredient specific exemption for Bramley apples to a level of 50%

Additional deregulatory measures under both options:
·       Remove the UK national limit for ‘reduced sugar jam’
·       Removing national provisions for curds and mincemeat

It is worth noting at this point that the government favours the 50% option.

You might think that lessening the ratio of sugar to fruit in jams, marmalades and curds is a good thing…but let me assure you its not! The impact of such a proposal will change jam as we know it, no longer will you have the lovely sweet jewel-like fruit laden goodness you spread so lavishly on your cake sponges and breads, but instead you will have something more akin to a sweet spread. Don’t get me wrong I like a spoonful of jelly-like spread on my bagel when I’m in the USA but this is not the USA and I love and want to keep my British jams. They are part of our heritage in this country and I want to keep that heritage and British jam tradition alive.

Marmalade is affected by these new proposals and mincemeat too, its not just jam.
You can read more about this issue on Vivien Lloyd's blog here. And also at Rosie’s blog here. These two are proper jam and preserves experts and know their stuff so I’m taking my lead from them and I am supporting the 60% sugar in my jam and making my views known to DEFRA.

The consultation closes on a few days on 22nd May 2013. This means you still have time to make your opinion heard and noted.

Please take a few minutes to support our heritage and preserve traditional English jam etc.

You can do this by e-mailing DEFRA at this address foodpolicyunit@defra.gsi.gov.uk

All you have to do is say something like this…

Dear DEFRA,
RE: THE JAM AND SIMILAR PRODUCTS REGS 2013 – PROPOSED CHANGES

I know you want to change the sugar content of jam in this country to decrease the permitted sugar levels, but actually I quite like English jam it as it is.

I want to keep English jam at a permitted sugar level of 60%.  I do not agree with either proposal to reduce the permitted sugar levels to either 50% or 55%.

Thank you for taking my views into account.

Regards
(Your name goes here)

THANK YOU!
Changes will affect curds too if they come into force.


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Susan x