On 2 December, Freshfel Europe called for a fresh fruit and vegetables-in-all-policies approach as it presented its 2019-2024 priorities paper for the EU institutions ‘Fresh Fruit & Vegetables for Europe’s Future’ in the European Parliament.
Freshfel Europe asked policy makers to help stimulate a higher level of fresh fruit and vegetable consumption as part of an integral shift to a low environmental impact plant-based diet, to protect both the planet and citizens’ health.
The organisation indicated that this could only be achieved through increased support for the sector in the policy-making agenda over the next five years across Europe and at all levels of government, in conjunction with sector initiatives.
During the evening reception, general delegate Philippe Binard presented Freshfel's latest paper, ‘Fresh Fruit & Vegetables for Europe’s Future: Freshfel Europe’s Priorities for the EU Institutions 2019-2024’ to members of the European Parliament working on agricultural, environmental and trade issues and high-level European Commission officials.
“By helping better position the fresh fruit and vegetable sector, policy makers will achieve forward-thinking coherent policy that will future-proof our planet and meet consumers' expectations now and into 2030," he said.
“Fresh fruit and vegetables play a key role in Europe's ambitions to protect the planet, provide healthy prosperous lifestyles to all and meet the Sustainable Development Goals," he noted. "The beginning of this path is an ambitious and effective European Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategy that incorporates a fresh fruit and vegetables-in-all-policies approach.”
MEP Herbert Dorfmann opened the cocktail reception in the European Parliament welcoming guests and describing the importance of sustainable production in a modern world with a fast changing climate.
Freshfel Europe president Stephan Weist also addressed participants, asserting that actors across the EU fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain will continue to collaborate to ensure that Europe reaches the WHO recommended consumption intake of 400g of fruit and vegetables per capita per day.
“21 Member States are currently not reaching this with the average consumption at 348g per capita per day," he pointed out. "The fresh fruit and vegetable sector must be prioritised in the policy-making agenda so that these nutritious products remain an essential part of European consumers’ sustainable diet.”
Freshfel Europe’s ‘Fresh Fruit & Vegetables for Europe’s Future’ paper outlines the role of the sector in significantly contributing to a low-environmental impact future for Europe and the good health of European consumers.
The paper details specific policy areas to tackle over the next five years, covering the CAP, intra-EU and global trade, the supply chain, circular economy, plant health, food safety, digitalisation and health policy, to ensure that Europe is a global leader achieving a triple-win for the environment, the economy and consumer health.