ESSNA welcomes Luca Bucchini as new Chair

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Simonkr
Getty Simonkr

Related tags Sports nutrition

The European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) has welcomed new Chairman Luca Bucchini to take the place of former chairman Dr Adam Carey, who was in the role for more than a decade.

Wishing the role farewell, Dr Carey tells NutraIngredients he is proud of the significant milestones achieved during his tenure.

“It is with great sadness that I am resigning from my position as Chair of ESSNA," he says, "I have greatly enjoyed my time working with the association to put forward the interests of the sector and help the industry grow and evolve.

"Perhaps one of the most notable accomplishments was ensuring that sports and active nutrition products are governed under the EU General Food Law instead of specific legislation which would have hindered innovation in the sector. This regulatory stability has enabled the industry to thrive, innovate, and evolve. Our advocacy work and direct engagement with key policy makers played a critical role in achieving this outcome."

Another major achievement during his leadership was the successful delay of mandatory nutrient profiles and front-of-pack nutrition labelling (FOPNL) obligations by the European Commission’s decision.

"These measures would have severely hindered businesses' ability to communicate the benefits of their products and posed significant reformulation challenges," he explains. "ESSNA's engagement with parliamentarians and key decision makers influenced the Commission's decision."

"I also feel very proud of ESSNA’s award-winning campaign​ against non-compliance in sports nutrition. We launched it in 2015 to ensure consumer safety and protect the integrity of the industry and have, to date, eradicated over 400 sports nutrition products that do not abide by the rules and regulations put in place for the protection of consumers.

"We have also been active in tackling inadvertent doping, via ESSNA’s Framework​ to help businesses in the sector better understand how products can become contaminated and provide guidance and advice to the industry on how this problem can be minimised."

In order to accelerate the industry’s transition to sustainability, the alliance has also launched​ ESSNA’s “Sustainability pledge: Lifting the planet” and joined​ the EU Code of Conduct for Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices.

Dr Carey is moving to become the Chief Health Officer for INEOS, a role in which he will be responsible for supporting the health of the athletes and staff within their sports teams.  

Discussing ESSNA's future, he added: “I am confident that ESSNA will continue to be a strong voice for the active and sports nutrition sector under its new leadership at this crucial time for the sector.

"I wish Luca all the best in his work and I’m certain that he will lead ESSNA with the same enthusiasm and success as he has supported the organisation as Vice-Chair over all these years”.

Taking the reigns

Luca Bucchini is a prominent food risk scientist and expert in sports foods regulation space, with more than 20 years of experience in the sector.

He's well tuned with the work of the alliance after over a decade of membership as well as a longstanding Vice-Chairmanship, in parallel to acting as Managing Director of his Rome-based food consultancy Hylobates Consulting.

Discussing his new role at ESSNA, Bucchini said: ​“I am honoured by the trust that the ESSNA membership has placed on me. After 20 years of consulting in food regulatory affairs and a decade of working with ESSNA, I feel privileged to assume the position of ESSNA’s Chair.

“Physical activity and sports are key to health and wellbeing, and our industry needs to be able to play its fundamental role in supporting an active lifestyle. Our consumers, whether elite athletes or fitness enthusiasts, have come to expect that we keep up with the science and with their unique needs; that we work with regulators to make sure that the right products are available to them, and that we can communicate the benefits of sports and active nutrition in a meaningful manner.

“I look forward to further supporting ESSNA’s efforts to meet these expectations and I’m excited to take the reins and continue Adam’s incredible work to date, for which I couldn’t be more grateful; I wish him the best of luck with his new role”.

Related topics Regulation & Policy

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