Starch Europe Welcomes the Publication of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy

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Brussels, Belgium 20 May 2020 - Starch Europe today welcomed the much anticipated publication of the European Commission’s EU Farm to Fork Strategy. Starch Europe and its members strongly support the Commission’s climate neutrality ambition and the important role a more sustainable food system plays to achieve that objective. The holistic approach being proposed in the Farm to Fork strategy is strongly welcomed, as is the simultaneous publication of the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

“It is through the continued involvement and collaboration of all EU policy makers and all stakeholders in the food value chain, including both ingredient and final food producers, that a more sustainable food system will be achieved”, said Jamie Fortescue, Managing Director of Starch Europe.

Starch Europe insists on the importance that a number of points be taken into account going forward.

 

Food Safety and Raw Material Reliability

Food safety, raw material quality&availability and farmers income must not be compromised, and adequate funding for the CAP to support farmers to move towards more sustainable agricultural practices is crucial. Furthermore, it is important to understand that plant protection products are used to fight against plant disease and guarantee quality and safety, and any restrictions in their use must be accompanied by measures to promote alternative means of disease limitation.

 

Healthy Sustainable Diets

Starch Europe fully acknowledges the public health concern about obesity, and the desire to promote sustainable food consumption to help tackle this multi-factorial issue through a holistic approach is obvious. In order to help consumers opt for healthier and more sustainable diets, we see providing clear information based on solid science as critical.

Starch Europe insists on the importance of all consumer information messaging being consistent and based on robust science, not merely perception. This should include increased communications in order to reassure consumers about the safety and high level of quality of the food ingredients produced by industry, and helping to strengthen consumer trust in innovation in EU food products.

 

Research & Innovation

Starch Europe also stresses that research & innovation would be fundamental to transition to sustainable food systems, and that increased R&I investment was already acknowledged as being key to sustainability improvements through several EU initiatives. Implementation and adequate funding for these existing initiatives will be key to the successful implementation of the Farm to Fork strategy.

EU policy clarity must also be brought on the use of new technologies including New Genomic Techniques, in order for private sector partners to be able to commit to R&I investments.

 

"The continuous innovation of the starch industry helps support and allow our customers in the food, feed and industrial markets to develop more sustainable products," said Christophe Rupp-Dahlem, Starch Europe President.

 

The Role of the Bioeconomy

It is critical to fully understand the key role of the Bioeconomy in the transition to a more sustainable food system. EU Starch biorefineries serve all outlets of the EU bioeconomy as a zero-waste industry.

Implementing all areas of the already agreed EU Bioeconomy Action Plan could in itself help achieve many of the Farm to Fork objectives.

Without the bioeconomy, the EU will not be able to deliver on its climate neutrality objective,stated Jamie Fortescue.

 

Considering the global market

Finally, an EU sustainable food system competes in a global market, and if the EU’s Farm to Fork objectives are not matched by its international competitors, the EU’s competitive advantage may be further compromised. In the absence of a global level playing field, suitable mechanisms will be needed to ensure that EU starch producers can compete. A very significant threat to a sustainable EU food system is the outsourcing of any link in the supply chain to less sustainable international competition.

Starch Europe highlights that these points were included in its submission to the public consultation on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy earlier this year, available here.

 

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For further information, please contact:

Jamie Fortescue - +32 2 289 67 67 - jamie.fortescue@starch.eu

Andreas Delvaux - + 32 2 289 67 63 - andreas.delvaux@starch.eu

Starch Europe is the trade association which represents the interests of the EU starch industry both at European and international level. Its membership comprises 28 EU starch producing companies, together representing more than 95% of the EU starch industry and, in associate membership, 7 national starch industry associations. The European starch industry manufactures over six hundred products including native starches, modified starches, liquid and solid sweeteners as well as oils, proteins and fibres that are used as ingredients and functional supplements in a vast array of food, feed and industrial applications.

May 20, 2020

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