Today Freshfel Europe and Copa-Cogeca jointly held an online public event, ‘Bringing fresh eyes to the promotion of fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products’, to put a spotlight on the upcoming reform of the European Commission promotion policy for agricultural products.
The joint event highlighted the need for a strong, efficient and effective European promotion policy that is reinforced and adjusted to provide EU added value to agricultural products. 200 participants joined the high-level event from the European Commission, European Parliament, Member State representations in charge of promotion, associations and beneficiaries of programmes from across Europe, agencies, and producers and traders.
European Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski made a keynote address at the joint event, emphasising the importance of the European promotion policy for stimulating demand for environmentally, socially and economically sustainable EU food and beverage products as well as their cultural heritage.
Commissioner Wojciechowski affirmed that under the European Green Deal, Farm to Fork Strategy and now the EU Climate Law, the EU promotion policy was vital in “supporting the transition towards more sustainable production and consumption in Europe,” but at the same maintaining Europe’s competitiveness on international markets.
MEPs Paolo De Castro and Irène Tolleret echoed the Commissioners’ comments, adding that the most sustainable production processes should be supported based on science-based evidence and a high profile should be given to EU producers to help them face increasing global competition on internal and international markets. Increased budget should be made available for this important pillar, combining both agriculture and trade policy. MEP Paolo De Castro stated that, “The AGRI Committee will never accept to exclude any sector from the promotion policy”, while MEP Irène Tolleret affirmed that, “In the current economic situation, where some quality products have been hit by the COVID-19 crisis, and taking into account the growing market volatility, promotion should be maintained and even reinforced”.
Freshfel Europe General Delegate Philippe Binard highlighted that, “There is today a unique opportunity to stimulate fruit and vegetable consumption and reach a level of at least 400g per day for all EU citizens. This will be a win-win solution considering the undisputed health benefits for consumers and environmental benefits for the planet”. He also added that, “The promotion policy should not be a niche policy and should equally highlight all the methods of production as well as quality of European fruit and vegetables and other EU agricultural products”.
Concluding this successful event, it was reminded by the European Commission and by the organisers of the event of the importance for stakeholders to contribute to the public consultation on the upcoming reform of the promotion policy before 23 June 2021.
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