65 EU Food Businesses Sign up to New Sustainability Code of Conduct
An EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices has been launched today under the EU Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy. 65 food industry stakeholders have signed up to the initiative which is part of the EU’s efforts to increase the availability and affordability of healthy and sustainable food options to reduce the bloc’s overall environmental footprint.
The Farm to Fork Strategy is an integral part of the European Green Deal. It sets out a long-term transformation plan for the way food is produced distributed and consumed. The Code covers all major aspects of food systems’ sustainability.
Associations and companies in the food sector that sign the code commit to accelerating their contribution to a sustainable transition. 26 food manufacturers, 14 food retailers, 1 organization from the food service sector, and 24 associations make up the first group of signatories to commit to the initiative.
There are two levels of commitment included in the scheme, the first is for EU associations and includes a set of seven objectives, relating to actions that promote the shift towards healthy and sustainable consumption patterns. The objective is to improve the impact of food processing, retail and food services’ operations on sustainability and to improve the sustainability of the food value chains, in relation to primary producers and other actors in the chain.
The second level is for companies and includes a framework with measurable outcomes covering a wide range of areas, from animal welfare to sugar reduction and cutting greenhouse gas emissions in their full product range. Companies will report progress by submitting a summary of their sustainability report on an annual basis.
Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said, ‘Today we are marking one of the first deliverables in our work under the Farm to Fork Strategy towards a healthy and environmentally-friendly food system. Close cooperation between all actors is essential to achieve a successful transition to sustainable food systems. The EU Code of Conduct will facilitate this cooperation, building on the commitments the food industry has already made and encouraging more ambitious action. The European food industry is already known for the quality and safety of its products. It should now also become the golden standard for sustainability.’
The EU Commission intends to present the Code in the United Nations’ Food Systems Summit later this year.
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