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Food industry calls for a stronger Europe, and a strong Single Market, to boost its competitiveness


06 Dec 2011


Agriculture & Food

FoodDrinkEurope today launched its Competitiveness Report 2011, calling on policymakers in the EU to adopt a stronger stance on safeguarding its biggest asset -the Internal Market- in order to restore economic confidence in the Union and demonstrate the benefits of EU membership more concretely to its citizens.

The report highlights how Europe’s food and drink industry is still Europe’s first manufacturing industry but notes that the industry’s export market share worldwide continues to shrink, to the benefit of emerging economies, confirming trends over recent years.  There is also a need for higher investment in R&D to boost levels of innovation in Europe’s food and drink industry.

Notwithstanding this growing trend, Europe’s food manufacturing business boasts an annual turnover of €954 billion and generates 4.2 million jobs (not to mention the jobs in related sectors).  As such, the industry is a strong pillar of the EU economy and can play an important role in helping to achieve the objectives set out under the EU 2020 Strategy to secure smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Food operators thus urge EU decision-makers to move swiftly towards the creation of a more business-friendly regulatory framework, optimising the potential of the Single Market by addressing, among other items, unfair commercial practices, rising commodity prices of agricultural raw materials, promoting access for exports to new markets and bolstering levels of investment in R&D to promote innovation in Europe’s first manufacturing industry, helping the sector to become more competitive in the global marketplace.

In addition, food operators strongly urge national governments to resist the temptation of turning to fiscal measures, such as discriminatory food taxes, in an effort to address obesity while raising money to reduce national deficits at this tough economic time. The food industry recognises the importance of tackling obesity and that it why operators have been doing so much to reformulate their products, encourage consumers to live healthy lifestyles and to work closely with regulators in Brussels and elsewhere to take forward creative solutions to what is a real societal challenge, about the way we live and work, not just the way we eat.

Speaking following the publication of the report, Jesús Serafín Pérez, President of FoodDrinkEurope, said: “In times of crisis, we must work together to accelerate economic recovery. Europe’s food and drink industry can help feed this recovery through growth – securing access to new markets, reformulating old favourites, bringing new products to market and, above all, meeting the needs of Europe’s 500 million consumers -but to do that, we need a strong Europe underpinned by a strong Single Market”.

To download a copy of the report, visit:


For further information:

Lisa McCooey, Communications Director

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

FoodDrinkEurope represents the food and drink industries of Europe – the largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of turnover and employment. FoodDrinkEurope‟s mission is to represent the food and drink industries‟ interests, at the level of 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. The membership of FoodDrinkEurope is made up of 26 national federations, including 3 observers, 25 European sector associations and 18 major food and drink companies. For more information on FoodDrinkEurope and its activities, visit:



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