Key food chain partners to launch sustainability roundtable

Date

03 Mar 2009

Sections

Health & Consumers
EU Priorities 2020
Agriculture & Food

Major stakeholders in the European food and drink chain set up a roundtable to promote environmental sustainability.
The Roundtable will constitute a major food sector-wide contribution to the EU’s ambitions in the field of Sustainable Consumption and Production, bringing together farmers and their suppliers, agricultural traders, food and drink producers, packaging suppliers, recovery organisations and civil society representatives, and will be supported by the UN Environment Programme and the European Environment Agency.
Its outstanding features are its clear-cut focus on food and drink products and the involvement of all major food value chain players on an equal footing. The Roundtable will add significant value to initiatives outlined in the European Commission’s 2008 Action Plan. 
The first priority of the “European Food SCP Roundtable” will be to facilitate agreement on uniform and scientifically reliable environmental assessment methodologies for food products.
“European consumers increasingly want to be sure that the food they buy and consume is not only safe, healthy, nutritious and affordable, but that it also meets the highest levels of environmental sustainability”, says Jean Martin, President of CIAA.
“We want to put an end to consumers seeing inconsistent environmental information on products. Our new cooperation will bring together existing initiatives from across the food chain, promote their foundation on sound scientific evidence and translate into real progress in moving towards a coherent approach across the EU.” stresses Pekka Pesonen, Secretary-General of Copa-Cogeca.
In addition to the major food chain organisations , the Roundtable looks to cooperate closely with all relevant European Commission services. It will be supported by the European Environment Agency and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), ensuring alignment with the European and global sustainable consumption and production agenda. Also consumer organisations and retailers have been invited to participate.
“In gathering the expertise of the entire food value chain, the Roundtable will constitute a major sector-specific reference point also for the upcoming Retail Forum”, adds Senator Feargal Quinn, President of EuroCommerce. Exchange of information between the two initiatives will pool expertise, favour consistency and avoid duplication.
Parallel to environmental assessment methods, the Roundtable will examine key sustainability challenges along the food value chain (e.g. climate change, water conservation, resource efficiency and waste reduction) and develop adequate strategies to address them.
The Food SCP Roundtable will be formally launched in a public stakeholder event in April  2009. Participation is open to all food chain partners and other relevant stakeholders, including NGOs, with pertinent expertise and who are committed to engage themselves actively towards the objectives of the Roundtable.
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Current participants in the European Food SCP Roundtable
Umbrella organisations participating in the Roundtable currently include (in alphabetic order):
CELCAA         European Liaison Committee of Agricultural and Agro-Food Trade
CIAA             Confederation of the Food and Drink Industry in the EU
Copa-Cogeca        European Farmers and European Agri-cooperatives
EFMA             European Fertilizer Manufacturers Association
EUROPEN         European Organization for Packaging and the Environment
FEFAC         European Feed Manufacturers Federation
IFAH    International Federation of Animal Health
PRO EUROPE     Packaging Recovery Organisation Europe
The Roundtable is also open to food-related sector organisations.
Supportive organisations currently include:
EEA             European Environment Agency
   
UNEP            United Environment Programme
For further information please contact:
Mr Bernd Gruner                                         Mr Christoph Tamandl
Secretary General                                      Director Environment
CELCAA                                                       CIAA
Tel: + 32 2 23 00 370                                 Tel: +32 2 500 87 51
info@celcaa.eu                                           c.tamandl@ciaa.eu
Mr Paulo Gouveia                                         Mr Christian Pallière   
Director                                                           Director Agriculture and Environment
Copa-Cogeca                                                EFMA
Tel: +32 2 287 27 35                                    Tel: + 32 2 66 33 146
Paulo.Gouveia@copa-cogeca.eu             chp@efma.be
Mr Alexander Döring                                    Julian Carroll
Secretary General                                        Managing Director
FEFAC                                                            EUROPEN
Tel: +32 2 285 00 50                                   Tel: +32 2 736 36 00
adoring@fefac.eu                                         packaging@europen.be
Joachim Quoden                                        Declan O’Brien
Managing Director                                      Managing Director
PRO EUROPE                                             IFAH-Europe
Tel: + 32 2 23 00 67                                   Tel: + 32 2 543 75 60             
quoden@t-online.de                                  d.obrien@ifahsec.org