Post-Brexit challenges continue for food, beverage, and supplement companies

18 December, 2023

Three years on from Brexit, many businesses are facing significant regulatory challenges. A recent survey of Leatherhead Food Research members indicates that 66% see regulatory divergence between the UK and EU as a problem. Most (68%) also say it is hard to keep up with changing requirements.


Discrepancies between EU and UK regulations are inevitable as changes are implemented on both sides. While there hasn’t been a fundamental parting of ways, timings and finer details don’t always line up.

Sometimes it’s the smaller, technical matters that present the biggest challenges. They don’t grab the headlines, but may have major implications for formulations, packaging, and labelling.

Poor alignment of regulatory change surrounding food additives is a case in point. For instance, in May 2023, the UK authorised E 960c Rebaudioside M, a new form of sweetener derived from Stevia, for use in all ‘energy-reduced’ or ‘with no added sugar’ food categories. Manufacturers must now differentiate between E 960a (Steviol glycosides from Stevia) and E 960c (enzymatically produced Steviol glycosides).

The EU approved E 960c in 2021, so this development would appear to restore harmony between the UK and EU markets. However, in the meantime, the EU has approved another new form of Steviol, known as E 960d, and so the divergence continues.

Here at Leatherhead, dedicated teams continually monitor regulatory updates and evaluate how they will impact food, beverage, and supplement businesses. We can’t make the post-Brexit problems go away. But we can offer clarity and specialist support so you can navigate the implications of divergence more effectively. Find out more about our global regulatory compliance services here.

This information is taken from a Leatherhead Food Research members’ whitepaper surrounding regulatory divergence between the EU and UK. Our members receive detailed updates on topical regulatory matters throughout the year. If you’re interested in becoming a member, further information is available here.

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