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Background

Deforestation-free products - position paper

Published: 16/02/2022

Forests are disappearing at an alarming rate. As major purchasers of agricultural produce, Europe’s food manufacturing industry relies on healthy ecosystems, and has a big role to play in achieving deforestation-free supply chains. In this paper, FoodDrinkEurope provides its key recommendations the EU proposal for a Regulation on deforestation-free products must consider.

KEY MESSAGES

  • On the industry’s journey towards deforestation-free supply chains, FoodDrinkEurope is keen to share perspectives from the European food and drink manufacturing industry as regards an EU proposal for a Regulation on deforestation-free products;
  • Definitions such as on ‘operator’, ‘trader’ and ‘negligible risk’ need to be clarified and substantiated with examples;
  • An appropriate transition period should be granted;
  • Future reporting requirements for operators need to be aligned with existing and upcoming policies (i.e. Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive);
  • Any update to the list of commodities in Annex I of the proposal should be preceded by an Impact Assessment;
  • The development of sector specific guidelines will help define the role and responsibilities of all stakeholders in the supply chain;
  • A future benchmarking system for identifying areas of risks in partner countries will need to consider the complexity and diversity of food supply chains;
  • Long-term partnership agreements between the EU and producing countries should be developed through an inclusive multi-stakeholder process;
  • The EU Multi-stakeholder Platform on Deforestation should play a key role in fostering discussions between stakeholders and the European Commission on tools, instruments and measures that could complement the regulation;
  • A concise implementation timeline for this proposal should be communicated in due course by the European Commission.