EU Summit: Producers & consumers have high expectations

Brussels, 21st March 2024  –  Food and agriculture are at the centre of the meeting of the European Council,  taking place in Brussels today and tomorrow. In the invitation letter to the Council, President Charles Michel,  states that “European farmers have voiced their concerns loud and clear”. Therefore leaders  “need to act decisively on the challenges they face. This means taking stock of the work carried out so far and ensuring that progress is made without delay, particularly with regard to the position of farmers in the food supply chain and to fair competition, both within the internal market and globally”.

“Not only producers but also consumers are paying special attention to this European Council’s meeting and have high expectations about the outcomes – declares Luigi Scordamaglia, President of Eat Europe, who is in Brussels today – as the strategic choices of the EU Heads of Government and State will impact significantly the possibility for both the farmers to produce and the consumers to have access to safe, nutritious food that contributes to achieving environmental, social and economic sustainability”.

Cutting CAP-related red tape, strengthening the position of farmers in the food chain, ensuring fair competition worldwide, while taking into account the impact on global food security, and ensuring authentic reciprocity in international trade benefits are necessary steps to make sure that European consumers can continue to benefit of the highest food safety and environmental standards.

Eat Europe is committed to working across the food value chain with all actors, from producers to consumers, and with the EU institutions to drive a sustainable and resilient transformation, tabling solutions anchored in pragmatic dialogue and consensus building, for the future of our European food model.

About Eat Europe – Eat Europe is a new European organisation, aiming at driving a sustainable and resilient food systems’ transformation, through an innovative and solid alliance between all actors in Europe: farmers, industry, retailers, academia, and consumers.  Inquiries at 


Berlin, 8th February 2024  –  Today the President of Eat Europe, Mr Luigi Scordamaglia, participated in a roundtable discussion on “The European Packaging regulation – Benefit or Damage for the Fruits and Vegetables Value Chain?” held at Fruit Logistica, the most important international exhibition for the sector.

According to the European Commission the proposed revision of the EU legislation on Packaging and Packaging Waste, which has reached now its final stage, has three main objectives: 1) to prevent the generation of packaging waste; 2) to boost high-quality recycling by 2030; and 3) to reduce the need for primary natural resources and create a well-functioning market for secondary raw materials. But the ambitious objectives of the proposal on paper hide an ideological approach – declared Mr Scordamaglia – that would generate dreadful impacts not only on the sector but above all on European consumers and the environment if approved and implemented in the real world.

There would also be a significant increase in food waste, due to a shorter shelf-life of the products. In other words, this would obtain the opposite of the expected effect, increasing food waste beyond the actual one-third of the food produced. 

Furthermore, several studies (Ramboll and others) show that the schizophrenic choice to deny the principle of recycling in favour of reuse would generate up to a 180% increase in CO2 emissions and 240% increase in water consumption.

We should put ourselves in the consumers’ shoes: they are looking for safe, healthy food, in the right portion and easy to be consumed – continued Mr Scordamaglia. If the regulation took these advantages away with a top-down unreasonable approach, consumers would lose their preferred choice and the whole fresh-cut fruits and vegetables sector would risk disappearing with a huge impact in terms of job losses.

Today’s news of a new JRC report announced during the first meeting of the trilogue by Commissioner Sinkevičius at the very end of the legislative process represents a dangerous attack on the prerogatives of the other EU institutions. More time is needed to work on the new data and this is not compatible with the tight deadlines before the EU elections. Therefore, trilogues should stop and the matter should be referred to the new Commission. 

The fruits and vegetables value chain is committed to be a protagonist of the green transition. However, this cannot be done by setting irrealistic obligations, but through an authentic collaboration and providing companies with the necessary resources to invest. Otherwise, agri-food production will collapse in Europe and will be replaced by imports from countries that do not meet our environmental and social standards. And, as usual, EU producers and consumers would pay the highest price.

About Eat Europe – Eat Europe is a new European organisation, aiming at driving a sustainable and resilient food systems’ transformation, through an innovative and solid alliance between all actors in Europe: farmers, industry, retailers, academia, and consumers.  Inquiries at 


Brussels, 1st February 2024 – Luxembourg Square, in front of the European Parliament has been occupied today by thousands of farmers, protesting against a situation that has become unbearable. Germany, France, Italy, Cyprus, Malta, the Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Czech Republic: the list of countries where turmoils are bursting is growing and long-term answers by the European institutions are needed.

We stand by European Farmers” states Luigi Scordamaglia, president of Eat Europe “not only because they deserve a fair return for their efforts, but also because their work is at the heart of the European food model, producing healthy nutritious food for the European citizens. Without a robust CAP rewarding farmers for the world’s highest food safety and environmental standards, without the implementation of a truly reciprocal principle in international trade, preventing products that are not meeting those standards from having access to the EU market, without giving a chance to farmers to produce food on their land, instead than setting it aside, we will undoubtedly drive to death the European farming sector. And right after the farmers, we will see the end of the European food processing industry, deprived of the fundamental partnership with the producers. And lastly, this will dangerously affect EU citizens’ health, making healthy food a privilege for a few, leaving behind the vast majority of people”. 

The multiple and complex challenges food systems are facing today, from a changing climate to ongoing conflicts, from the loss of biodiversity to food sovereignty, need bold decisions by the European institutions, aiming at reconciling economic, social, and environmental sustainability on an equal footing. This is why farmers gathered in Brussels today. And this is why Eat Europe was born as a multistakeholder European association, bringing together all actors in the food chain, to table pragmatic proposals to drive a sustainable and resilient food systems’ transformation.

The time has come for the European Union to step up and finally recognise the contribution of millions of farmers and food industry players to meet the expectations of citizens and consumers in the EU and beyond.

Eat Europe welcomes Arianna Giuliodori as first Executive Director

Brussels, 29th January 2024 – Eat Europe welcomes Arianna Giuliodori as first Executive Director. Her arrival marks the official launch of new operations for the recently born organisation, aiming at driving a sustainable and resilient food systems’ transformation, through an innovative and solid alliance between all actors in Europe: farmers, industry, retailers, academia, and consumers. 

Before joining Eat Europe, Arianna Giuliodori led the World Farmers’ Organisation as Secretary General from December 2017 to the end of 2023, achieving remarkable results in terms of governance, policy development and key partnerships, positioning farmers as key actors in all conversations about Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems, in particular during the United Nations Food Systems’ Summit and its implementation, representing food producers in the SENA (Stakeholder Engagement and Networking Advisory)  group.

“I am excited to join such an innovative organisation as Eat Europe, aiming at building bridges between producers and consumers. I am looking forward to embracing the great challenge of building trust in the food value chain, through forward-looking, daring partnerships, exploring new pathways and working with the members and the European institutions to contribute to a resilient and sustainable  EU Food Systems’ Transformation” declared Ms Giuliodori.

“The future of the European Food Systems and the values connected to food in our continent deserve a bold, pragmatic and innovative approach and need new alliances to thrive. This is what Eat Europe is committed to bring to the table in Brussels. A recognised international professional like Ms Giuliodori will boost our action and reinforce our operations” commented Luigi Scordamaglia, President of Eat Europe.

One of the key issues Eat Europe is tackling is securing healthy and sustainable diets for consumers. In this regard, the Global Food Forum that Farm Europe is organizing in Brussels on the 13th and 14th of February will offer the stage to Eat Europe, and Ms Giuliodori will moderate a panel on “Animal-based food: a key place for nutritional balance and sustainability”.

EU Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture – Eat Europe calls for bold, ambitious decisions

Brussels, 25th January 2024 – Today, the President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen officially launched the long-awaited Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture, reminding that “What agrifood in Europe needs is a long-term perspective” to face the challenges that are mounting, including food security, climate change and the wider objectives of the Green Deal.

In times of unprecedented crises and uncertainty, with geopolitical and financial instability, combined with the rising impact of climate change, the European Union must put at the heart of its future choices the interests of those who produce and those who consume food.

“There are no short-cuts and no silver bullet to build sustainable and resilient food systems, but to work with all actors in the food value chain, making sure that their livelihoods and their perspectives are taken into account, without giving in to extremist ideologies that are always backed by hidden economic agendas, disregarding the needs and expectations of European consumers and food producers. The European food systems can win the challenge of resilience and sustainability, only if every link in the food chain is competitive and if value is fairly shared among all actors. Furthermore, the same rules and standards must apply within and outside the European borders, making sure that the principle of reciprocity is duly verified before finalising any international agreement, like the one with Mercosur that would be detrimental to European Food Security and Sovereignty”,  states Luigi Scordamaglia, President of Eat Europe

Diversity, sustainability, accessibility and affordability, quality, and the ability to reconcile authenticity, tradition, and innovation are pivotal strengths at the heart of European food systems. These are the result of a huge effort of all the actors of the food value chain and need to be preserved through forward-looking, bold, ambitious decisions: strong investments in innovation, long term predictability for food producers,  wise decisions on the international trade agreements, consumers’ education, livelihoods support for farmers are just a few of the chapters to look at carefully in the Strategic dialogue and beyond.

Eat Europe is a new European organisation, aiming at driving a sustainable and resilient food systems’ transformation, through an innovative and solid alliance between all actors in Europe: farmers, industry, retailers, academia, and consumers. We stand ready to participate in the upcoming dialogues, bringing to the table pragmatic solutions and concrete proposals.

Lab-Grown Food – EU Ministers confirm that the Novel Food regulation is not fit for purpose 

Brussels, 23rd January 2024 – Yesterday’s discussions held at the EU AGRIFISH Council on the CAP´s role in safeguarding high quality and primary farm-based food productionbased on the note from the Austrian, French and Italian Delegations supported by many delegations, is in line with the recent statement by the European Parliament: the Novel food regulation is not fit for purpose for synthetic food

The Ministers point out that “laboratory-cultivated food production raises many questions that have to be thoroughly discussed between the Member States, the Commission, stakeholders, and the general public. […] These questions are essential for the future society that we want to build in Europe and should therefore be part of a renewed and broad debate in the EU specific to lab-grown meat”.

The Belgium presidency summarised the discussion in the Council underlining that the debate ended with a number of Member States calling for a moratorium until correct and satisfactory information is available to assess these new foods and conduct a public consultation on these products. Many countries are also calling for the quality of EU food production to be defended.

Based on these clear statements, from the European Parliament in October 2023 and yesterday from EU ministers, Farm Europe and Eat Europe call upon the EU institutions to avoid any step forward on synthetic food based on the Novel food regulation. EU farmers and food producers’ efforts to innovate, and build sustainable and resilient food systems closely linked to nature must not be undermined by decisions not based on transparent and solid analysis. We consider that synthetic products are closer to the pharmaceutical industry than to food, and certainly not in line with EU food values, including when it comes to innovative food products.

“The wide consensus gained by the document presented to the Council today is of utmost importance not only for the European food value chain but above all for the consumers. It is a strong call for the precautionary principle to be used and for more research to be put in place, to investigate more the risks and challenges already highlighted by the WHO and FAO related to synthetic food” states Luigi Scordamaglia, President of Eat Europe.

“Farmers are doing their best to improve the way they produce food, reinforcing environmental sustainability and investing in innovation,  to answer to the needs expressed by the society. Cellular products are a leap into the unknown. They entail ethical, social, environmental, and economic challenges. Therefore, we welcome the call from EU ministers for a thorough assessment” declares Yves Madre, President of Farm Europe.

How to make sure that EU consumers have access to sustainable and healthy diets that are anchored in resilient, diverse, viable agricultural systems is a pivotal question for the future of the European Food Systems. This topic will also be debated during the Global Food Forum that Farm Europe is organizing in Brussels the 13th and 14th of February. The panel on “Animal-based food: a key place for nutritional balance and sustainability” will provide the opportunity for experts, and institutional and political representatives to deep dive into the risks and identify solutions.

Nutrient profiles: EFSA cautiously avoids to give an opinion on the Nutriscore

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) released its scientific opinion on the guidelines for nutrient profiling, i.e., “the classification of food based on their nutritional composition for specific purposes”. This opinion aims to set the scientific basis for the set up a harmonized European front-of-pack labelling system (FOPL). But the European agency states it in a very clear and bold way that it does not assess the relevance of the various labelling models, leaving this to the risk manager, i.e., the European Commission. It alsostates that there are three main methodologies to follow when developing a front-of-pack label: either by developing an algorithm, by setting a quantitative threshold for individual nutrients, or by assessing the nutrient contribution that a food makes to recommended nutrient intakes. 

However, EFSA underlines that “because diets are composed of multiple foods, overall dietary balance may be achieved through complementation of foods with different nutrient profiles so that it is not necessary for individual foods to match the nutrient profile of a nutritionally adequate diet. Nevertheless, individual foods might influence the nutrient profile of the overall diet, depending on the nutrient profile of the particular food and its intake, in terms of frequency and amount”. 

In other words, food that compose healthy diets already contain all the nutrients that we need to be healthy, but there is no single food that already contains every nutrient that we need, thus, a combination of different foods is needed, which can be read as a warning about overly reductionist approaches. 

The overall document delivers a complete analysis of the general nutritional outlook on which nutrient profiling should be based. The Scientific opinion considers a comprehensive set of nutrient and non-nutrient components of food (total fats, fatty acids, sugars, sodium, protein, fiber, potassium, EPA, DHA, Iodine, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D, Folate). It analyzes the available scientific literature on the subject and concludes that a decrease of the intakes of saturated fatty acids, sodium, added/free sugars and energy, together with an increase of intakes of dietary fibers and potassium would represent an improvement for the health of the EU population at large.

The initiative finds its place within the framework legal initiative of the Farm to Fork strategy (F2F) and its declared efforts to improve public health, notably to fight the rise of non-Communicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, etc.

Important to note as well that EFSA assessed nutrients that are “likely to be consumed in excess or in inadequate amounts in a majority of European countries”, avoiding, thus, the nutrient profiling guidelines to give a holistic view on the food, but to only assess it based on those specific nutrients. 


  • One of the recommendations of the EFSA on nutritional profiling concerns the fact of replacing energy indicators with total fats. This measure can create confusions in consumers that might have difficulty to translate total fats back to energy (Kcal) intakes. Moreover, this provision moves the focus from energy to fats and/or sugar, therefore, it does not provide a solution on the issue of high energy intakes. On the contrary, energy should become the key parameter in food categories, so to prevent reformulation practices that bring no benefits to consumers. 
  • As already underlined by Farm Europe, in the context of EFSA’s opinion on sugars (01/03/2022), in the cases of fats and sugars the guideline of ‘as low as possible’, opens to the interpretation that there is no safe level of intake, no matter the quantity. A statement that contradicts the principle of a balanced and diversified diet. Therefore, confusion both from consumers and for the authorities supposed to design FOPs may arise, considering that no concrete guidelines are given. However, despite the public health importance of reducing overall energies, the Nutrient profiling -as well as any possible FOP label method developed on it- should stop at objectively informing about the energy content and do not try to influence consumers’ purchasing choices.
  • An aspect that is mentioned in the report, but it does not make it to the recommendations section, is the method of cooking of the food. In fact, depending on how a food is cooked, ingested nutrients might change. Moreover, considering the important effect on health, also the overall level of processing (not only method of cooking, but also reformulation) should be considered both in nutrient profiling and, thus, in font-of-pack labels. 
  • As a general remark on the FOPL systems, it is worth noticing that the methods relying on algorithms and thresholds are, by definition, biased. In fact, depending on where the threshold is set, or how the algorithm is composed, then the overall assessment of the food will change. In addition, regardless of the chosen methodology, a criterion that takes into account the level of processing of food should be inserted, so to consider the effects of the processing on overall health. 

EAT EUROPE is the dedicated department of Farm Europe which aims to tackle the most sensitive societal issues, focusing on the role that institutional actors play in citizen’s health, analyzing and defining the tools that the EU and its Member States could implement in order to prevent their population from habits that could lead to unhealthy lifestyles. It reasons on science and efficacy, by gathering knowledge of people and focusing exclusively on the EU common good and its ability to deliver.

Nutrition & food policies: Spain Parliament postpones the implementation of NutriScore

During May 2021, the Spanish Parliament postponed the introduction of mandatory FOPL until a decision is taken at the EU level, while Germany released its 2021 nutrition report. In the UK, multinational Kellogg committed to reduce its products’ sugar content in the European market while a law that restricts the promotion of junk food has been approved. On food health, the EFSA found that Titanium dioxide (also known as E171) poses health risks.

full note available on FE Members’ area

Nutrition policies: Germany regulates food advertisement for children

The Regulation on transparency became effective since March 2021. It is supposed to improve the transparency of the risk assessment process that involves food approval.

On the Front of Package Label, Italian agriculture minister took a clear/cut position against the NutriScore, defining it “idiot”. A member of the Wojciechowski cabinet also took a public position against this labelling tool.

In Germany, advertising to children of unhealthy foods has been restricted. While in South Africa, a study evaluates the effects of a tax on sugar introduced in 2018.

The European Commission also opened public consultation process for the promotion policy of agri-food products and on feed additives.

full note available on FE Members’ area