The proposal is part of a group of five vertical Directives on food (the other four relating to certain sugars, honey, preserved milk, fruit juices and certain similar products), based on Article 37 (ex-Article 43) of the EC Treaty and submitted by the Commission to the Council on 30 May 1996. Their purpose is to simplify and replace the current rules on food. The present text will replace, in particular, Council Directive 79/693/EEC relating to fruit jams, jellies and marmalades and chestnut purée. Three other proposed Directives - relating to certain sugars, dehydrated milk and fruit juices - were agreed on 7 December 1999 by the Council and sent for reconsultation to the European Parliament.
The proposed Directive lays down and updates common rules governing composition, including authorised colouring agents, sweeteners, and other additives, manufacturing specifications and labelling of the products concerned. It defines in great detail the products falling within its scope (jam, extra jam, jelly, extra jelly, marmalade, jelly marmalade and sweetened chestnut purée) and sets out the ingredients and raw materials which may be used in their manufacture. The text specifies the labelling conditions subject to which the general rules on labelling apply (Directive n°79/112/EEC). Compliance with the proposed Directive is foreseen 18 month after its entry into force (twenty days following publication of the text in the Official Journal) while prohibition of marketing for non-complying products is foreseen after 30 month after entry into force.