(Brussels, 23 March 2022) Today, the European Commission presented a range of short-term and medium-term actions in its Communication on safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems. FoodDrinkEurope has made the following statement in response.
Comment from FoodDrinkEurope Director General Dirk Jacobs:
The Commission rightly acknowledges the importance of safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems as a consequence of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
As the essential sector between the ‘farm’ and the ‘fork’, Europe’s food and drink manufacturing companies are working hard to ensure continuity of supply across the European region and beyond, including providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine. We are working with the European Commission, and our partners along the supply chain, to identify and mitigate supply chain issues and avoid disruptions as much as possible.
The war in Ukraine has exacerbated rapidly increasing energy costs, pressures on the food supply chain and rising agricultural raw material and food prices. It is therefore good that the European Commission has taken decisive action with its range of emergency measures for farmers and consumers today, but it must be ensured that companies in the food and drink manufacturing sector, with its many SMEs, can also have access to the appropriate support and assistance, where needed, so that they can continue to supply.
FoodDrinkEurope is convinced that, while due recognition should be given to the challenging times many companies are facing these days, in the medium- to long-term, the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy remain valid and necessary to ensure the resilience and sustainability of Europe’s food systems. We see no contradiction in food sustainability and food security; on the contrary, food sustainability and food security must go hand-in-hand.