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EU Food Chain Action Welcomed

by 5m Editor
16 June 2008, at 11:58am

EU - The European Commission is to hold the first high level group meeting among food producers, industry and legislators on competitiveness in the food industry.

The British National Farmers' Union NFU has put forward a list of priorities for the meeting, which takes place at the European Commission's Enterprise department and will bring together European government officials and food retailers, looking at how to develop greater competitiveness in the EU food supply chain.

Following on from NFU success in the UK with the announcement for a UK food ombudsman, it is now important to see greater measures at EU level which will encourage producer confidence for more investment and innovation across the whole EU food chain.

To ensure affordable food and a competitive industry, the EU must tackle abuses of buying power, recommend competitiveness tests for new EU legislation, respect EU standards in world trade and provide access to key resources such as GMO animal feed.

James Ede, Assistant Director at the NFU's Brussels office, said: "Greater competitiveness can only be achieved through a properly functioning EU food chain, one where fairness, transparency and sustainability are respected and where value added is rewarded. Only then, will consumers' expectations of safety, quality, choice and value for money be truly met and the future of the EU supply chain be secured.

"Action is long overdue, as we are faced with the long standing problem of a shocking lack of commercial transparency for producers that affects farmers and growers across the EU.

"However, we are extremely pleased that the European Commission has decided to investigate the food chain and we have written a letter to officials enforcing our policy for a European ombudsman, who would examine the way that retailers interact with producers and the potential long term impacts their actions may have on consumers."

5m Editor