EuroCommerce, which represents the retail and wholesale sectors in Europe, welcomed the launch of a public consultation on the EU’s framework for sustainable food systems, with chief executive Christel Delberghe saying the consultation demonstrates how point the “retail and wholesale sector is fully committed to working with other actors in the supply chain to build sustainable food systems in Europe”.
Delberghe highlighted EuroCommerce’s efforts with regard to the farm-to-fork code of conduct, adding that the group’s “main request” to the Commission is to “ensure that any regulations resulting from this exercise allow flexibility for innovative ideas with well-defined sustainability criteria”.
Increased consumer interest
A recent report from EuroCommerce in association with McKinsey shows continued consumer interest in buying sustainable and healthy food options, but it also highlights growing polarization in the ability to buy said products, inflationary pressures affecting less well-off families.
EuroCommerce asks the Commission to propose rules which “fit in line with and add value to the many existing initiatives of the voluntary sector”, while guaranteeing a strong single market, with a “favorable political environment which supports companies in their ability to do business and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
The group also encourages the Commission to be consistent with existing EU legislation and approaches, such as general food law, in defining liability and reporting requirements, and to ensure that accountability lies operators best placed to fulfill these obligations.
A food safety and science-based approach must be at the heart of a sustainable food system, added EuroCommerce, and rules and definitions covering sustainability and any related claims must be clear and easily applicable by operators. , as well as understood by customers.
In addition, EuroCommerce has asked the Commission to ensure that it involves retail and wholesale trade and the rest of the supply chain when developing the rules to ensure that they are workable and can therefore achieve their goals.
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