Marmite on the brink of a spectacular comeback

Risk assessment application currently being processed

August 18th, 2014 5:19 pm| by admin

Britain’s favourite savoury spread Marmite could be on the verge of making a triumphant return to Danish food shelves after a British expat launched a risk-assessment application to be able to market Marmite in Denmark.

Anette Flensborg, a nutrition consultant with the food authorities, Fødevarestyrelsen, confirmed to the Copenhagen Post that an application was being processed, and although she wouldn’t comment further on the particular case, it did look promising in terms of statistics.

“Out of the about 120 cases we process every year, around 92 percent are approved," Flensborg revealed. "But we have to check the security and we do so by a case-by-case point."

Brits and many other internationals in Denmark shed a collective tear back in 2011 when the Danish food authorities ruled that Marmite spread could no longer be marketed in Denmark because it contained the added vitamin B 12.

But David Darlington, a British expat who has imported and supplied British and American food products to Danish supermarkets for the past 13 years via his Randers-based company Food From Home, is doing his best to get Marmite back into the hands of his countrymen. So far, his journey has been an uphill struggle.

READ MORE: Life after Marmite: leaving nostalgia behind to reflect changing tastes

The winds of change
According to Fødevarestyrelsen, the “addition of vitamins, minerals and other substances need to be approved by the authority before the product can be marketed in Denmark”.

Hence, any company that wishes to sell Marmite has to fork out 8,900 kroner just to apply for a risk-assessment to be performed by Fødevarestyrelsen, and if it is approved, the permission only counts for the company that paid for the assessment.

“If any other companies wish to apply to sell Marmite, then they too must pay 8,900 kroner to have exactly the same risk assessment carried out,” Darlington said.

“Now, hang on a minute. 20 companies x 8,900 kroner each, that’s a lot of money. Now they're using bloody Marmite to milk money out of people.”

Fødevarestyrelsen informed the Copenhagen Post that this was indeed the standard practice at the moment, but that it was working on simplifying the rules so that everyone could take advantage of one product’s assessment approval.

READ MORE: Cinnamon rolls under threat from EU legislation

Where's Unilever?
Darlington was equally furious that Marmite’s British-Dutch producer Unilever isn’t stepping up to the plate to help its loyal customers in Denmark get their hands on their beloved savoury spread.

“Is it fair, that David Darlington, a humble British expat from Liverpool, should be expected to foot this outrageous 8,900 kroner bill to market and sell Unilever's precious Marmite in Denmark?” he asked in disbelief.

“What about Unilever? They are a multi-billion pound organisation, with hundreds of products sold worldwide, which in the end will be benefiting very nicely from David Darlington's financial investment.”

Darlington has tried for years to touch base with Unilever to get answers to these questions, but he has finally given up after scores of unanswered emails, voicemails and telephone messages. “We’re too small for them to care,” he maintains.

So he has gone it alone on behalf of the British community in Denmark, even though his 8,900-kroner investment could vanish into thin air should Fødevarestyrelsen reject his application. But for him, it’s a principle issue now.

“Against the advice of my accountant and many other networkers, I have decided that the time has come for me to surrender to the powers that be and dig deep into my own pocket on behalf of poor old Unilever.”

One has to look good in surgery (photo: iStock)
Copenhagen-based heart surgeon avoids prison time for embezzling research funds
Disgraced heart surgeon Peer Grande, 64, has today been handed a 18-month s...
Last year on Black Friday there were 4.5 million card transactions (photo: iStock)
Black Friday in Denmark is expected to smash all records
The annual American-inspired retail event Black Friday is so far living up ...
Director Andreas Koefoed was joined by the team behind the film in Amsterdam (photo: Facebook/Force of Nature CPH)
Danish documentary about asylum-seeker children wins IDFA award
The Danish documentary ‘Et hjem i verden’ (At Home in the World), direc...
Inderhavnsbroen as it should have looked ... since 2013 (photo: Københavns Kommune)
Notorious city harbour bridge delayed yet again
It's beginning to sound like a bad joke for Copenhagen's most notorious bri...
Researchers speculate that the virus entered Europe via Greenland (photo: iStock)
Deadly virus found in Danish geese
The deadly bird virus Aquatic Bird Bornavirus 1 (ABB1) has been registered ...
FCM have lost three Europa League games on the trot (photo: FCM)
Wolves still in driving seat despite loss in Poland
FC Midtjylland may have 1-0 to Legia Warsaw in the Europa League last night...