The Greek EU Council presidency runs from January 1 to the end of June this year, and the European food industry body has urged it to support the industry in four main areas: Promoting a food and drink industrial policy; innovation; promoting balanced diets; and encouraging a more sustainable business model.
In particular, FoodDrinkEurope called for a specific policy to improve the European industry’s competitiveness on a global stage.
This follows the trade body’s November partnership with EFFAT, the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions, to publish a research report on employment and skills in the industry.
Among its recommendations, the report said: “The European Commission needs to recognise the importance of the [food and drink manufacturing and processing] sector to the EU economy and should develop a specific strand of industrial policy that supports the further development and growth of the sector in the future and values its specific features.”
Such a policy specifically would address international trade, employment, environmental policy and sustainability, and reducing regulatory burdens.
On the subject of sustainability, FoodDrinkEurope called on the Greek presidency to support industry’s pledge to halve edible food waste in the EU by 2020.
The aim of the initiative is to work toward preventing waste, to promote a life-cycle approach to reducing wastage, and to examine how better food recovery and exploring new markets could contribute to economic growth. It is in line with a European Commission goal to halve food wastage in the EU by 2020.
FDE’s full report on its priorities for the Greek presidency is available to download by clicking here.