ESSNA steps to up role as sports sector trade body

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

ESSNA steps to up role as sports sector trade body

Related tags: Sports nutrition sector, European union

The European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) is set to expand its remit to become a trade body for the European sports nutrition sector, the group says.

ESSNA said it is to expand on its historic campaigning role to become a trade body for the European sports nutrition sector, while also stepping into the void to police the wider industry’s compliance with EU regulations.

Formed in December 2003, the initial remit of the alliance was to campaign against EU regulations that may have adversely affected the sports nutrition sector by stifling innovation or limiting consumer choice. 

However, in its new expanded role ESSNA will assume wider responsibilities, becoming the de-facto voice of the sports nutrition industry in dialogue with regulators, policy makers, the media and consumers.

“This is a watershed moment not only for ESSNA but for an industry that to date has been bereft of a representative body," ​said Dr Adam Carey, chairman of ESSNA.

"ESSNA has been enormously successful as a campaigning body, and this is a natural step for us to take so that we can continue to represent the needs of the sports nutrition industry."

Speaking to NutraIngredients, Chris Whitehouse director of ESSNA said the alliance will also monitor and manufacturers and suppliers who defy EU regulations.

"There are a small minority of companies that fail to comply with legislation and regulation in two main ways - either by illegal ingredients, or by making false claims,"​ said Whitehouse.

Policing the void

The ESSNA director said this small minority also include manufacturers and suppliers from non-EU countries that export to the EU.

"That is a problem that needs to be addressed,"​ said Whitehouse - who added that ESSNA plans to work with companies who are not meeting regulations to help them improve.

"In the first instance, it's not about shopping people to the authorities,"​ he said, adding that the group will be writing to companies and letting them know there are issues in the hope that they can be addressed and improved.

However, Carey added that companies who continue to flout the regulations "should be under no illusion that ESSNA will work tirelessly to ensure that their activities are reported to the relevant authorities, and that they will not be allowed to challenge the integrity of the industry as a whole.”

"It's in everybody's interests that the reputation of the industry continues to improve,"​ said Whitehouse.

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