FOOD LAW AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN POLAND
When we are currently witnessing a constantly changing environment, the phrase ‘food law’ or ‘agriculture law’ is not sufficient to describe the situation by legal terms. What can be observed in the market is that the food sector and new technologies sector have stepped up cooperation and co-work. Such new products as vegan meat, soya, coconut, almond milk, mechanic bees are a result of food-tech cooperation. The food tech cooperation comprises a considerable part of the market in Poland, effecting in the creation of a number of start-ups, such as for example:
The above start-ups function in the Foodtech accelerator https://foodtech.ac. This is one of the many examples of enhanced cooperation between food and technology (especially IT) sectors. Behind these innovative ideas there is always specific legal regulation which controls and moderates the business reality.
POLISH AND EUROPEAN FOODTECH LEGAL FRAMEWORK
In Poland there are the following main legal acts which contain the relevant provisions in the discussed sector:
2. HACCP – Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points System. All Polish entrepreneurs involved in the marketing of food are obliged to implement the so-called HACCP system to ensure food safety.
The obligation to implement the HACCP system results from the provisions of the European law (it was originally introduced by Directive 94/43/EEC, currently this issue is regulated by the Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union No. 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, and under Polish law – by the Act on health conditions of food and nutrition).
3. External control
External control over the correctness of activity in the field of food turnover is exercised primarily by the State Sanitary Inspectorate and the Agricultural and Food Quality Inspection. With regard to products of animal origin, the Veterinary Inspection has special powers.
4. Food packaging
Regulations on the labelling of food packaging are of particular importance. Polish regulations on the labelling of foodstuffs largely implement the provisions of European directives, including in particular Directive 2000/13/EC of 20 March 2000 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs.
As it is evident, national regulations are subject to and aligned with an extensive system of EU regulations which have an overpowering influence on the member states’ food markets.
The most relevant European Acts on food law sector are:
But the crucial Act significantly related to the foodtech issue is the REGULATION (EU) 2015/2283 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 25 November 2015 on novel foods, amending Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Regulation (EC) No 258/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1852/2001 (so- called Novel food Regulation or (EU) 2015/2283).
What is novel food:
Novel Food is defined as food that had not been consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997, when the first Regulation on novel food came into force. ‘Novel Food’ can be newly developed, innovative food, food produced using new technologies and production processes, as well as food which is or has been traditionally eaten outside of the EU.
The above legal frames of the food law are created for solving the problems classified by experts (for example by PitchBook in the Transformative Agtech and Sustainability Challenges Report https://pitchbook.com/news/reports) in the following manner:
The experts in this scope differentiate, among others, the following foodtech and agtech sustainable development challenges: a) Agricultural industrialization and focus on short- term productivity; b) Emerging technologies including biotech feed; c) Innovative irrigation solutions, indoor farming strategies, and ag-biotech inputs; d) food waste challenges; e) Healthy soil and f) mitigating climate change.
Experts in many sources, such as in the Report indicated above, indicate the challenges of sustainable development for the European food safety law.
The most interesting problems are the following examples:
1) the problem of pollution caused by greenhouse gas emissions, as the global agricultural industry is also a significant generator of greenhouse gas emissions (12% of total global greenhouse gas emissions).
Since the larger producer of GHG emissions in the agricultural sector is intestinal fermentation of animals, which produces methane, the law should create mechanisms to combine food production with modern technologies in the form of innovative agricultural practices, such as feed additives for farm animals.
2) the problem of excessive use of chemicals in agricultural production.
Nitrogen fertilizers, which in the past were very useful for increasing the amount of food harvested, are now causing soil depletion and acidification. In addition, rain and snow melt can cause fertilizer to run off to watercourses and groundwater, which intensifies the process of soil degradation. This runoff leads to an excess of nutrients in the water known as “eutrophication”.
3) the problem of legal support for the monitoring and analysis of the agricultural sector.
This problem includes field sensors and farm management software that track several crop, soil and environmental variables.
4) drought and water scarcity – in which there can be differentiated the following issues:
– climate change,
– outdated infrastructure,
– mediocre water management,
– growing populations and urban sprawl,
– outdated regulations,
– shift to water – intensive crops.
5) Food waste
Recent study in the US found that 33.7 % of edible produce went unharvested in fields and the economic cost of wasted food in the US was estimated at $285.0 billion in 2019.
According to this paradox there arise emerging food waste reduction technologies:
– New e- commerce sales channels,
– Robotics & automation,
– Farm management software.
6) Soil degradation.
There emerged the following new technologies in this area:
– Drones & automated farm equipment to replace the heavy farm machinery;
– Precision farming (such as imagery analytics services and in-field sensors) to prescribe precision treatments and as a result to minimize waste;
– Biofertilizers (utilizing bacteria and microbes) to replace the chemical fertilizers;
– Soil carbon markets to minimize the GHG emissions.
More can be read in the abovementioned Report – see link below:
Considering global food and agricultural problems KIEŁTYKA GŁADKOWSKI KG LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PARTNERSHIP. ATTORNEY LAW FIRM will take part in the FoodTech Expo, International Food Technology Fair (2nd edition) on 23-25 November 2021 in Warsaw.
The Food Technology Fair is a presentation of a comprehensive offer of producers and distributors of machines for food processing and production, technologies increasing food safety, and presentation of additives and components
To see entire website: https://foodtechexpo.pl/en/
As we can read on the website the industry scope includes:
FoodTech and AgTech law
sectors remain within KG Legal’ specialization. According to this at FoodTech
Expo KG Legal partners will acquire the latest knowledge it the field and
become acquainted with new technologies and business companies in order to
implement solutions posted by sustainable development goals agenda.
 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32015R2283&from=pl, (access date: 19th August, 2021).