The European food manufacturers’ 30th congress closed yesterday (October 19) amid “an overwhelming sense of optimism” with a manifesto for growth.
Mella Frewen, director general of the food and drink manufacturers’ association FoodDrinkEurope, said: “There was an overwhelming sense of optimism shared by the speakers and delegates based on the resilience of Europe’s food and drink industry, its potential to innovate and its ongoing investment in collaborative partnerships with other players.”
Frewen said the manifesto showed the industry is “committed to delivering as well as its ambition to remain Europe’s number one manufacturing sector, feeding the recovery with a sustainable sector creating jobs, exports and added-value for Europe and its consumers.”
The manifesto pledged that the food manufacturing sector would to continue “to operate as a major economic asset and catalyst for growth in the European economy” by delivering an 11-point action plan.
The top five commitments were:
1 “Continuing to produce safe food and drink which is nutritious, tasty and affordable, for Europe’s citizens.”
2 “Encouraging innovation and sustainable production methods, and safeguarding the diversity of Europe’s food industry and its cultural heritage.”
3 “Contributing to a holistic, harmonised, and science-based food regulatory framework which will boost industry competitiveness by 2020, leading to a comprehensive industrial food chain policy for Europe.”
4 “Playing a leading role in the food chain efforts to promote balanced diets and healthy lifestyles for Europe’s citizens.”
5 “Securing smart, green growth on the path towards a greener economy both in Europe and worldwide.”
The 11-point plan is available here .
Meanwhile, a statement from FoodDrinkEurope promised: “Over the next decades, Europe's food industry will further expand its efforts to add value to European citizens’ lives, to our economy and to our position on the global stage."
The sector would continue to shape the economic, social and cultural life of Europeans, leading the way towards "sustainable, inclusive growth in line with the EU 2020 goals,” it said.
Timothy Mobsby, chair, liaison committee, FoodDrinkEurope, said: “We need to be better at telling our story to the consumer. We also need to listen more to the perspective of others and hear their concerns as well as working with others to try to address those challenges.
“In tandem with leveraging the innovation investment we have already made here in Europe, we must build on existing partnerships with stakeholders to create an atmosphere that encourages innovation and the acceptance of new processes, thinking and products.”
Europe’s food industry facts
- It’s the EU’s largest manufacturing industry.
- Annual turnover of almost €1 trillion.
- Directly employing more than 4M.