Retailers and wholesalers sign Farm-to-Fork Code of Conduct
Press release - Agriculture, Food, Nutrition & Health
5 July 2021
EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren, Independent Retail Europe Director-General Else Groen and Euro Coop Secretary-General Todor Ivanov announced today that they had signed the EU Code of Conduct under the Farm to Fork Strategy, and issued the following joint statement:
“We are happy to have signed today an EU Code of Conduct which covers objectives our sector has long committed to and is actively pursuing. Our signatures and the commitments of our member associations and companies reflect our support of the transition to sustainable food systems, recognising and building on the many initiatives our sector already has in place. It also signals our commitment under this code to further engagement and continued dialogue with other actors in the supply chain.
Such dialogue will be important in contributing to the code’s objectives – no one part of the supply chain can do so alone, and we supported the Commission’s inclusive approach in involving all interested stakeholders across the supply chain. We all want to see consumers benefit from more access to sustainably-produced food and make the healthy choice. We will promote the code and share good practice, and we call upon the Commission to facilitate the dialogue foreseen in the code.
An important element in making the code succeed, and to attract as many players as possible, is to match it with what all sectors involved can actually deliver. The voluntary and aspirational nature of the code can make this happen. We also welcome that it adopts an approach tailored to this, and foresees special arrangements for SMEs. The companies can thus decide voluntarily on actions in line with their scale and business model and strategies, and based on consultations with their suppliers and customers.
Retailers and wholesalers of all sizes have been in the forefront of driving the sustainability of their own operations and the products they offer. They have launched initiatives all over Europe to drive and support sustainable production and consumption by working with their suppliers, supporting farmers in moving to organic and other sustainable production methods, and engaging consumers in embracing responsible consumption and sustainable lifestyles through innovative offerings, particularly their own brands. We therefore welcome that these many initiatives can be reflected in signatories’ commitments as the basis of their continued engagement.
Many examples of what our sector is doing to achieve a sustainable supply chain are available on: