EU introduces new legislation on honey, fruit juices, jams and dehydrated milk

An image showing honey on a shelf

By Kate Adams, BAB Senior European Policy Advisor 

Badged as the 'Breakfast Directives', the EU has introduced new legislation amending the labelling and naming of honey, fruit juices, jams and dehydrated milk. Following a year of negotiations and published in the Official Journal on 24 May 2024, the European Council claim the new rules will reduce food fraud, increase transparency on the origin of products and allow consumers to make more informed choices.


According to the European Commission, almost half of imported honey is suspected of being adulterated and is undetected on the EU single market. To tackle this, the new legislation will make country of origin labelling clearer. Countries of origin will be listed in descending order based on weight and include the percentage each country represents.

In the future, the Commission can adopt legislation to stipulate methods of analysis to detect adulterated honey and determine whether honey meets the requirements of the Directive. An EU platform of experts will also be set up to improve controls, detect adulteration in honey and provide recommendations for an EU traceability system.

Fruit juices

To allow consumers to make informed choices and to respond to the growing demand for reduced-sugar products, the legislation will see the introduction of three fruit juice categories:

  • reduced-sugar fruit juice
  • reduced-sugar fruit juice from concentrate
  • concentrated reduced-sugar fruit juice

In addition, the statement 'fruit juices contain only naturally occurring sugars' can now be used on labels.

Fruit jams

To promote the production of jams with increased fruit content and to reduce the amount of sugar in products, the legislation will see the minimum fruit content in jams increased. The minimum fruit content will be increased from 350 to 450 g per kilo in jams, and from 450 to 500 g per kilo in extra jams. The Commission claim this will enable healthier diets whilst also support the EU fruit market.

Within 36 months after entry into force of the Directive, the Commission may introduce legislation on country of origin labelling for fruit used in jams.


To respond to consumer’s needs, the use of treatments that produce lactose-free dehydrated milk products will be permitted.

Next steps

The legislative act has been published in the EU Official Journal on 24 May 2024, and the Directive enters into force on 13 June 2024. Member States will have until 14 December 2025 to transpose the Directive, and national provisions will apply from 14 June 2026.

Northern Ireland

The existing legislation ( 2001/110/EC, 2001/112/EC, 2001/113/EC and 2001/114/EC) are listed in Annex II of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The new legislation will therefore directly apply in Northern Ireland.

This page was first published on 01 May 2024. It was updated on 04 June 2024.

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