FoodDrinkEurope, the organisation representing Europe’s food and drink industry, welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the European Commission’s public consultation on “A renewed trade policy for a stronger Europe”.
The food and drink industry is the largest manufacturing sector and leading employer in the EU with 291,000 companies (99% SMEs) and 4.8 million employees. The EU is moreover the world’s largest exporter and second largest importer of food and drinks in the world. In 2019, food and drink exports reached a value of €120 billion, generated by businesses of all sizes.
While the industry processes about 70% of the EU’s agricultural output, manufacturers also rely on imports of some key ingredients from safe, secure and traceable supply chains that are not produced in the EU or at least not in sufficient quantities, and which play a complementary role in the production of many value-added products. The industry is furthermore characterised by diversified food supply chains, which contribute to the industry’s ability to deliver safe, affordable, and quality food and drink products to consumers worldwide.
FoodDrinkEurope supports an ambitious EU trade policy, which seeks to establish a more stable and predictable rules-based international trade environment, improve market access conditions in both traditional and emerging markets, maintain fair terms of competition, strengthen the implementation and enforcement of trade agreements, and contribute to sustainable development.