Our four organisations – representing Europe’s farmers, food processors, retailers, wholesalers and traders – express our joint solidarity with the people of Ukraine, including the millions that have fled their country to seek safety elsewhere.
Beyond this humanitarian crisis, the war has unleashed massive challenges in the food supply chain with spiralling input and energy costs, and a scarcity of certain commodities needed to maintain a fully functioning supply chain.
In the face of these challenges, we are committed to working together to maintain reliable food supplies to consumers in Europe and beyond.
We are calling on the EU and national governments to help us in the following ways:
Energy support: All parts of the supply chain, from farmer and processor to wholesaler, retailer and trader, need support to mitigate the impact of rising energy costs and curb continued inflationary pressures.
Single Market integrity: We need the Single Market to work effectively to ensure a resilient supply chain. The European Commission should stop Member States from adopting protectionist measures that restrict the movement of agricultural commodities, food, feed and other inputs and ingredients.
Labelling: Processors and retailers/wholesalers need help to find practical and flexible labelling solutions to provide consumers with accurate information while responding to the rapidly changing availability of ingredients. This must not come at the expense of food safety or consumer access to the right information, and wherever possible, favour EU-produced alternatives.
Workable regulation: We fully support the overall objectives of creating a sustainable food supply chain and reducing its environmental impact, but the content and timing of regulation needs to be mindful of the costs to those having to apply it, especially in the light of current and likely continued inflationary pressures. The Commission should also tackle member states exacerbating these costs by gold-plating the implementation of EU legislation.
Clear communication: Europe has enough food and an efficient supply chain to provide for consumers across the continent. We would ask the EU and national governments to communicate this message clearly to avoid panic-buying and stockpiling by consumers.
Overcome bottlenecks: Transport bottlenecks across the European region should be unblocked for critical food and packaging goods through the introduction of protected “green lanes”.
We urgently ask policymakers to work with us in these difficult times to help us provide Europe’s consumers with a reliable supply of safe, affordable and high-quality food.