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Joint statement from the food supply chain on Ukraine

Published: 20/04/2022

Our four organisations – representing Europe’s farmers, food processors, retailers, wholesalers and traders – express our joint solidarity with the people of Ukraine, including the millions that have fled their country to seek safety elsewhere.

Beyond this humanitarian crisis, the war has unleashed massive challenges in the food supply chain with spiralling input and energy costs, and a scarcity of certain commodities needed to maintain a fully functioning supply chain.

In the face of these challenges, we are committed to working together to maintain reliable food supplies to consumers in Europe and beyond.

We are calling on the EU and national governments to help us in the following ways:  

  1. Energy support: All parts of the supply chain, from farmer and processor to wholesaler, retailer and trader, need support to mitigate the impact of rising energy costs and curb continued inflationary pressures.
  2. Single Market integrity: We need the Single Market to work effectively to ensure a resilient supply chain. The European Commission should stop Member States adopting protectionist measures that restrict the movement of agricultural commodities, food, feed and other inputs and ingredients.
  3. Labelling: Processors and retailers/wholesalers need help to find practical and flexible labelling solutions to provide consumers with accurate information while responding to the rapidly changing availability of ingredients. This must not come at the expense of food safety or consumer access to the right information, and wherever possible, favour EU-produced alternatives.
  4. Workable regulation: We fully support the overall objectives of creating a sustainable food supply chain and reducing its environmental impact, but the content and timing of regulation needs to be mindful of the costs to those having to apply it, especially in the light of current and likely continued inflationary pressures. The Commission should also tackle member states exacerbating these costs by gold-plating the implementation of EU legislation.
  5. Clear communication: Europe has enough food and an efficient supply chain to provide for consumers across the continent. We would ask the EU and national governments to communicate this message clearly to avoid panic-buying and stockpiling by consumers.
  6. Overcome bottlenecks: Transport bottlenecks across the European region should be unblocked for critical food and packaging goods through the introduction of protected “green lanes”.

We urgently ask policymakers to work with us in these difficult times to help us provide Europe’s consumers with a reliable supply of safe, affordable and high-quality food.

CELCAA is the EU umbrella association representing EU organisations covering the trade in cereals, grains, oils and fats, sugar, fruit and vegetables, olive oil, agro-supply, animal feed, wine, meat and meat products, dairy and dairy products, eggs and egg products, poultry and game, tobacco, spices, cut flowers and plants and general produces. Members include CEEV, CIBC, COCERAL, EUCOLAIT, EUWEP, FETRATAB, FRESHFEL, GAFTA, SACAR and UECBV. CELCAA’s main objectives are to facilitate understanding of European decision-makers and stakeholders on the role played by the European traders in agri-products; to act as a platform of dialogue and communication with the European Institutions and to encourage public and general interests in agri-trade issues.

Copa and Cogeca are the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU. Together, they ensure that EU agriculture is sustainable, innovative and competitive, guaranteeing food security to half a billion people throughout Europe. Copa represents around 22 million farmers and their families whilst Cogeca represents the interests of 22,000 agricultural cooperatives.

EuroCommerce is the principal European organisation representing the retail and wholesale sector. It embraces national associations in 28 countries and 5 million companies. Retail and wholesale is the link between producers and consumers. Over a billion times a day, retailers and wholesalers distribute goods and provide an essential service to millions of business and individual customers. The sector generates 1 in 7 jobs, offering a varied career to 26 million Europeans, many of them young people. It also supports millions of further jobs throughout the supply chain, from small local suppliers to international businesses. EuroCommerce is the recognised European social partner for the retail and wholesale sector.

FoodDrinkEurope is the organisation of Europe’s food and drink industry, one of Europe’s largest manufacturing sectors, a leading employer in the EU, and a key contributor to the economy (289,000 companies, 99% SMEs, 4.5 million employees). The EU food and drink industry buys some 70% of all EU agricultural produce.