Building coherent and innovative ideas to enhance the contribution of the food chain to public health

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The fight against non-communicable diseases is becoming a central feature of public health policies at global, EU, and Member State level, putting nutrition policy under the spotlight. 
This week, Farm Europe launched its first debate on the EU agri-food chain and its contribution to health. Gathering representatives from the food industry, farmers’ organisations, NGOs, and European institutions, the discussion focused on the fragmentation of the policy landscape in Europe, the diverging perception of the topic across different actors within the food chain, and the need for innovative approaches in the future to ensure efficient and well-targeted public health policy and economic predictability.
On this basis, Farm Europe – as a food policy factory – will increase its contribution to the debate, offering a neutral place for stakeholders willing to invest in thinking to build coherent and innovative ideas. Objective will be to enhance the contribution of the food chain to public health while preserving the coherence of the EU single market. 
Recent developments in several countries are clearly showing that pressure is escalating. Tobacco is acting as a blueprint for fiscal and regulatory measures for health advocates and regulators in the agri-food sector at international, European, and national level, even though regulatory schemes – and especially taxes and labelling constraints – are not always seen as the best solution; such measures tend to distort trade and undermine the role of education and individual responsibility in public health, and they can also be a source of discrimination.