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UNESDA Outlines Priorities and Aspirations for 2019-2024 Sector committed to Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness


03 Apr 2019


Agriculture & Food
Brussels, 2 April 2019; UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe today introduced its Aspirations for 2019-2024, outlining a series of critical priorities and areas that will ensure the soft drinks sector continues to help advance European economies and address societal challenges during the next European Parliament and Commission term. 
The Aspirations include a number of pledges and ambitions supported by UNESDA member companies and national associations to further accelerate the sector’s role in creating a healthy food environment and overcoming environmental challenges.
Built around the three pillars of Sustainable, Responsible, Competitive the Aspirations set out the ambitions of the European soft drinks industry for the years ahead building on its actions and progress across key policy areas over the past decade. 
“Our sector is committed to responsibly producing beverages that meet evolving consumer needs and delivering economic growth while supporting environmental sustainability. We will pursue these ambitions working in close partnership with civil society and the public sector,” explained UNESDA president, Tim Brett, president of Coca-Cola Western Europe.  “As an industry we have defined clear aspirations for the next five years, and will measure our sector’s progress against the three core concepts of Sustainability, Responsibility, and Competitiveness.”
The UNESDA Aspirations support and align with the priorities of the entire food and drink industry and in particular those laid down by FoodDrinkEurope for the 2019-2024 period centred on the value of the single market: Growing sustainably, Serving consumers, and Feeding Europe’s economy.  They underline the sector’s support for a science and evidence-based approach to food safety and innovation as well as for actions providing nutrition and empowering consumers.
The Aspirations can be summarised as:
The sector is committed to driving sustainability throughout its value chain and lays priority on:
  • Optimising collection, recycling and reuse of all packaging, including plastics;
  • Boosting collection rates of single use plastics including bottles and caps;
  • Creating the optimum framework and conditions for food grade quality rPET to be available, accessible and affordable;
  • Authorising the recycling processes already assessed by EFSA;
  • Supporting the Circular Plastic Alliance to deliver on the bold objectives set at EU level;
  • Implementing sustainable sourcing and agriculture practices in our supply chain.
The sector has an obligation to behave responsibly in the sales and marketing of its products and lays emphasis on:
  • Maintaining momentum to generate critical mass on calorie & sugar reduction across food and beverages in Europe;
  • Removing regulatory hurdles to innovation and sugar reduction;
  • Stimulating self-regulatory initiatives including addressing advertising and marketing to children; maintaining our commitment to no added-sugar drinks in EU Schools.
  • Maintaining a partnership-based approach involving all stakeholders;
  • Defending a fact-based approach to regulation and policymaking. 
The soft drinks industry is rooted in the European economy. It lays focus on:
  • Driving the competitiveness of European industry through Better Regulation;
  • Supporting a strong single market and avoiding fragmentation or renationalisation of EU policies;
  • Supporting fair, non-discriminatory and predictable fiscal policies.
The European soft drinks sector is a significant contributor to the EU economy and society, providing enjoyment and hydration and supporting jobs, growth and prosperity throughout its €185 billion value chain.  It is an early leader in setting out significant ambitions to create a healthier food and drink environment and make packaging more sustainable.  The sector is committed to supporting the EU institutions in achieving the shared goals of economic circularity, sustainable growth and healthy populations.
Established in 1958 UNESDA represents the soft drinks industry in Europe and covers products including still drinks, squashes, carbonates, powders, iced teas, iced coffees, syrups, energy drinks and sports drinks. Based in Brussels its members include both corporations and National Associations


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