The European food and drink industry strongly supports the green ambition pledged by the European Commission. Indeed, sustainable food production and consumption are indispensable conditions of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent.
Food is essential for life, society, citizens and the economy; it should therefore be prioritised as a strategic sector for the European Union. Building on the high reputation and excellence of Europe’s food as safe, nutritious, culturally-diverse and of high quality, FoodDrinkEurope recognises the need – and fully supports the EU’s commitment – to strengthen our global leadership in sustainability.
FoodDrinkEurope and its members are eager to play a constructive and pro-active role in driving the transition towards more sustainable food systems. This can only be achieved through supportive policy which is truly holistic, co-ordinated, harmonised, co-owned, inclusive and science-based. The policy must be continuously evaluated against its objectives and should include incentives for both consumers and businesses. For it to be successful, it must facilitate collaboration, partnership and open, forward-looking dialogue about opportunities, challenges and trade-offs, recognise Europe’s strength of diversity, ensure predictability, and enable the long-term economic viability and competitiveness of all players in the food chain.
Work is not starting from scratch. With a central role between ‘Farm’ and ‘Fork’, FoodDrinkEurope members are, amongst others, heavily investing in improving the environmental and nutritional footprint of their products, improving the circularity of products and packaging, promoting more sustainable consumption behaviours, minimizing food losses, while ensuring safe, affordable, convenient and enjoyable food.
Increased support for SMEs, a stronger Single Market for food and drinks, decreasing red tape and administrative burden through better regulation, research and innovation, and sustainable finance will be critical enablers for our sector to scale up, accelerate and deliver on tangible actions. The Farm to Fork Strategy presents a unique opportunity to support these efforts and minimize any barriers that food chain actors may face in contributing to the overall objective of more sustainable food systems.