31 leading organisations representing all actors in the food supply chain have sent a joint letter to the European Commission calling for greater collaboration in the process of developing the flagship initiative of the Farm to Fork strategy: the legislative Framework on Sustainable Food Systems (FSFS).
Signatories to the letter include COPA-COGECA, the united voice of farmers and agricultural cooperatives in the EU, and EURO COOP, the Union of European Consumer Cooperatives. The recipients were Commissioner Kyriakides (DG Health and Food Safety), Commissioner Wojciechowski (DG Agriculture) and Commissioner Sinkevičius (DG Environment, Oceans and Fisheries). The letter can be downloaded here.
In the letter, the signatories express their concerns “about the current lack of dialogue” and requested that the European Commission engage more with stakeholders to ensure a proper establishment of the new EU framework legislation. “Given the ambition of this legislation to accelerate and facilitate the transition to sustainable food systems, the exchange of views is crucial,” they insist.
The signatories also point to the need to establish a more precise scope for the new legislative framework. “To be truly effective, the sustainable food systems framework cannot ignore the diversity and on-the-ground reality of the agri-food chain, its products and the processes that enable all actors to do their job. A clear definition of sustainability that maintains the balance between its three pillars would contribute to the achievement of this objective”.
The proposed legislative framework will also, according to the signatories, have to avoid duplication of existing legislation, as well as ensure an interdisciplinary approach involving all relevant Commission departments, but with a unitary and focused approach.
The signatories also reiterate the importance for any sustainable food system to ensure food and nutrition security, in terms of availability, affordability and accessibility.
Euro Coop recalls that unsustainable production takes a heavy toll on the climate and biodiversity, with dire consequences for consumers and businesses. The EU food system is responsible for 31% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions, which is leading to more droughts, floods and extreme temperatures in Europe, jeopardising its ability to produce food in the long term. “Reducing the environmental footprint of our food supply chains, from production to consumption, is essential to reduce these risks and ensure a prosperous future for all”, Euro Coop.
COPA-COGECA website: www.copa-cogeca.eu
Eurocoop website: https://www.eurocoop.coop/