Against backdrop of Rio +20, Europe’s food operators stress environmental sustainability commitments in ‘Vision towards 2030’

Date

26 Jun 2012

Sections

Sustainable Dev.

Press release

(Brussels, 25 June 2012) Despite the failure to create a global, ambitious agreement moving towards further sustainable development at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Europe’s food operators support a renewed international political commitment to address new and emerging challenges in a number of environmental sustainability areas crucial to the future competitiveness of the European food and drink industry.

In tandem with the EU focus on sustainability and the need for greater coordination at the global level to agree on international goals in this area, FoodDrinkEurope members have made significant strides in this domain to develop their ‘Vision for Environmental Sustainability towards 2030’. To help face future challenges and prepare to feed a world population of 8 billion by 2030, Europe’s food industry’s focus is to implement this Vision, which includes, among others, goals to mainstream sustainable development and green growth through more sustainable sourcing practices; to promote greater resource efficiency initiatives along the food chain and the need to improve sustainable consumption and production.

One of the key successes of food and drink manufacturers in Europe has been their ability to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 18% while increasing production value by 29% over the period 1999-2008.  In support of the Rio +20 goals, future key actions across several areas as a result of the FoodDrinkEurope Vision towards 2030 include:

· Working with stakeholders to help prevent food waste by preventing packaging waste through re-use, recycling and recovery systems;

· Designing sustainable supply chains so that crops are cultivated sustainably to halt deforestation;

· Rolling out good water management systems for waste water quality, water recovery and re-use and investing in water-efficient technology;

· Developing supply chain partnerships to maximise resource efficiency; and

· Prioritising rail and water transport where feasible.

As highlighted in the Rio+20 Declaration, all stakeholders should be involved in the effort to achieve sustainable growth. The industry has shown itself to be a responsible and constructive leader in the global transition towards a green economy through a commitment to use low-carbon and resource efficient solutions as well as promoting sustainable patterns of production and consumption in partnership with stakeholders. Industry acknowledges the important role it can play, and recognises that success also depends on adopting a ‘whole-of-society’ approach to ensure a more sustainable world for generations to come.  As such, FoodDrinkEurope members are working together with other actors along the supply chain ‘from farm to fork’ via the work of the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table, to identify tangible and concrete solutions which are both inclusive and holistic in approach.

A copy of the FoodDrinkEurope Environmental Sustainability Vision Towards 2030 and the full comprehensive Report is available for download at: http://sustainability.fooddrinkeurope.eu/

-ENDS-


For further information:

Lisa McCooey, Deputy Director General/ Director of Communications

Tel.: +32 2 514 11 11, Mob.: +32 476 911 300

l.mccooey@fooddrinkeurope.eu

The mission of FoodDrinkEurope is to represent the food and drink industries of the EU – the largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of turnover and employment. FoodDrinkEurope works with European and international institutions, in order to contribute to the development of a legislative and economic framework addressing the competitiveness of industry, food quality and safety, consumer protection and respect for the environment. FoodDrinkEurope's membership consists of 26 national federations, including 3 observers, 26 European sector associations and 19 major food and drink companies. For more information on FoodDrinkEurope and its activities, visit: www.fooddrinkeurope.eu

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