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 firstname.lastname@example.org