The EU food and drink industry works closely with farmers to facilitate the supply of safe and sustainable agricultural raw materials.

Farmers are essential to the food and drink industry, which buys some 70% of all EU agricultural produce[1]. We rely on farmers to produce our raw materials and we support them to be as environmentally and economically sustainable as possible.

The European food and drink industry is comprised of 99% small and medium-sized enterprises, many of which are located in rural, agricultural areas – in some locations producing specialities that would disappear completely should farming in those locations no longer be viable.

The relationship between European farmers and the manufacturing industry has provided a strong market for producers for decades and new market opportunities in third countries – but with climate change contributing to volatile prices and numerous other challenges – it is now more important than ever to strengthen the ties between farmers and the rest of the supply chain.

Adopting more environmentally-friendly farming practices will help the entire food system move towards a more circular and sustainable economy. The food and drink industry, with its intimate relationship with the farmers supplying it, will continue to support generations of farmers in their constant quest to become greener and to thrive.

The Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) is one of the key policies for the sustainable growth of the EU food and drink industry, with high environmental and climate ambitions crucial to ensure a more sustainable future for our food systems.

We also believe that maintaining a market oriented CAP is the most effective approach to improve the competitiveness of EU farmers and deliver enough agricultural raw materials to meet consumer needs.

A food supply chain must be fair for all operators – from farmers to retailers and everyone in between. We supported EU legislation to ban unfair trading practices to improve the trading conditions for the 11 million farmers and 293,000 food and drink businesses in Europe, as well as for many more suppliers outside the EU, when selling their products on the European market.

[1] Wageningen University, 2018. The EU food and drink industry use of domestic raw material, available at

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Léna Girard

Manager, Agriculture & Economic Affairs

Léna Girard