Towards a European Green Deal-compatible food system — Event Report

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Climate, Energy & Sustainability

“No one can doubt the considerable consensus that our food system is economically, socially and environmentally unsustainable,” said Faustine Bas-Defossez, Director of External Impact at the Institute for European Environmental Policy, at the start of the event entitled ‘A food chain under pressure: how to ensure long-term resilience’, organised by Friends of Europe on 28 September.

Participants shared the perspective that the transition towards sustainable food systems must continue, despite the pressures of rising energy and food prices. We cannot abandon the long-term goals for quick fixes.

The urgency of the situation is clear. “Crisis is the new norm,” said moderator Dharmendra Kanani, Chief Operating Officer and Spokesperson at Friends of Europe. Dirk Jacobs, Director General of FoodDrinkEurope, highlighted that current national measures negatively impact the internal market. An EU coordinated approach to address the current crisis is urgently needed. “The outlook for our industry is quite bleak, and the worst has yet to come.”

Giacomo Mattino, Head of Unit for Food, Retail and Health at the European Commission Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship & SMEs (DG GROW), highlighted the importance of “close collaboration” between public and private actors.

Recognising the need to think holistically around the food chain, steps for a just transition must consider the needs of all stakeholders involved, notably SMEs.

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