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Verdict: Purely plant-based products cannot be marketed with designations such as ‘milk’, ‘cream’, ‘butter’, ‘cheese’ or ‘yoghurt’, which are reserved by EU law for animal products

Court of Justice of the European Union’s verdict: Purely plant-based products cannot, in principle, be marketed with designations such as ‘milk’, ‘cream’, ‘butter’, ‘cheese’ or ‘yoghurt’, which are reserved by EU law for animal products.

In the judgment, the Court observes that, in principle, for the purposes of the marketing and advertising in question, the relevant legislation reserves the term ‘milk’ only for milk of animal origin. In addition, except where expressly provided, that legislation reserves designations like ‘cream’, ‘chantilly’, ‘butter’, ‘cheese’ and ‘yoghurt’ solely for milk products, that is products derived from milk.

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Japan’s dairy industry in crisis mode

Japan’s dairy industry is in crisis mode as the country’s top milk producing area falls behind in raw milk production.

Slammed by destructive typhoons last summer and facing fundamental challenges, dairy farms in Japan’s large northern island of Hokkaido are struggling, their problems affecting people throughout the country.

In the past few years, Japan has suffered occasional butter shortages, due largely to decreased milk production in dairy farms outside Hokkaido. These farms are generally smaller than their northern counterparts, and thus more susceptible to external forces that can affect production

Japan’s pricing structure for milk products can be blamed for this: Raw milk used for producing drinking milk is priced higher than milk used to make butter, cheese and other processed dairy products. As a result, a smaller portion of raw milk was allocated for butter.

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Rabobank: Butter Spreading, but Protein Failing to Lift

There is hesitation in the market as the outlook for currency changes, production levels, and stocks fuels short-term volatility, according to the Rabobank Global Dairy Quarterly Q1 2017.

With butter prices continuing to trade at near-record levels, it’s tempting to talk of ‘market spreads’. ”The spread between the elevated butter prices and skimmed milk powder prices—which continue to fall—has never been bigger and continues to widen, although it’s nearing its climax.

The market will again look to the European Commission to support European SMP prices—and therefore global dairy prices—as it now seems all but certain that intervention buying will be needed again in 2017.

As the year progresses, Rabobank sees global butter prices remaining firm. They will be needed to maintain margins due to the persistent low value of skimmed milk, which is likely to remain weak, but stable, supported by limited stocks in Oceania and intervention buying in Europe. Cheese prices are also likely to remain stable, given the continued growth in export markets. WMP prices are also likely to remain stable for the rest of 2017, supported by limited suppliers and limited available stocks.

Valio launches artisan butter

The international launch of Valio’s world-class premium artisan butter for consumers is in full swing and the new products are on show at the Gulfood Exhibition in Dubai, February 2017. Valio has over 112 years of experience producing butter and promoting its export. At the moment, Valio is selling butter in nearly 30 countries.

Report: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Butter Consumption and Risk of Diseases

Dietary guidelines recommend avoiding foods high in saturated fat. Yet, emerging evidence suggests cardiometabolic benefits of dairy products and dairy fat. Evidence on the role of butter, with high saturated dairy fat content, for total mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes remains unclear. The researchers aimed to systematically review and meta-analyze the association of butter consumption with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes in general populations.

This systematic review and meta-analysis suggests relatively small or neutral overall associations of butter with mortality, CVD, and diabetes. These findings do not support a need for major emphasis in dietary guidelines on either increasing or decreasing butter consumption.

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Danish study of moderate intake of butter compared to olive oil

The study by Sara Engel and Tine Tholstrup published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes:
Moderate intake of butter resulted in increases in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol compared with the effects of olive oil intake and a habitual diet (run-in period). Furthermore, moderate butter intake was also followed by an increase in HDL cholesterol compared with the habitual diet. We conclude that hypercholesterolemic people should keep their consumption of butter to a minimum, whereas moderate butter intake may be considered part of the diet in the normocholesterolemic population.

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EU Nixes ‘Butter’ From Name of Czech Spread

The Czech Republic can’t use the EU’s intricate foodstuffs rules to justify putting the word ”butter” in a dairy spread’s name, the EU’s lower court ruled Tuesday.

Czech officials and the European Commission have been fighting for years over the designation of pomazankove maslo, a dairy spread similar to butter.

In 2011, the commission complained that the Czech Republic had allowed pomazankove maslo to be marketed as butter in violation of the EU’s labyrinthine food-labeling rules.

In order for a product to be considered butter in the EU, it must have a milkfat content of between 80 and 90 percent, a maximum water content of 16 percent, and at most 2 percent dry nonfat milk-material content.
Pomazankove maslo – literally ”spread butter” – falls far short of the EU’s butter standards with 31 percent fat, 42 percent dry milk and 58 percent water. This led the European Court of Justice to decide in 2012 that the Czech Republic had to stop calling the product butter.

Undeterred, Czech officials lobbied the commission to go on using the name under a scheme that gives an exemption for products recognized as a traditional specialty.
Apparently finding that pomazankove maslo was either not traditional or not a specialty, EU regulators denied the request, leading to another round in the courts over the dairy spread.

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