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.