European food industry goes digital to promote Sustainable Development Goals

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

FoodDrinkEurope promotes collaboration on SGDs ©iStock
FoodDrinkEurope promotes collaboration on SGDs ©iStock

Related tags United nations Sustainability Sustainable development

European food sector body FoodDrinkEurope has launched a new website to promote action on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).

The SGDs are an intergovernmental set of 17 goals with 169 targets, which are a core part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The FoodDrinkEurope dedicated website focuses on the European food and drink industry’s commitment to deliver on all the SGDs relevant to the sector.

Targets in the food sector’s remit include: ending hunger, promoting health and education, climate action, responsible production and consumption, climate action, economic growth, innovation and infrastructure.

“FoodDrinkEurope and its members are committed to promoting sustainable practices and implementing the targets set within the SDGs”​ said Mella Frewen, Director General of FoodDrinkEurope. “We aim to build on the essential links between food, people and the planet.”

FoodDrinkEurope stressed that acting on the goals “cannot be done independently”​ and will require partnerships in the food chain and beyond. The website therefore aims to chare and communicate initiatives that Europe’s food and drink manufacturers have initiated in regard to the SGDs.

A spokesperson for FoodDrinkEurope was quick to stress that this is more than a PR exercise.

“We indeed have a dual aim with the SDG website to inform on what companies already ​doan d lead by example to encourage other companies to implement SDGs, gather[ing] further examples as we go,”​ the spokesperson told FoodNavigator.

The industry body also supports the SGDs through a working group. “We promote the SDGs among members and work on their implementation through our sustainability working group and intend to report on progress through the website,”​ the spokesperson added.

EC multi-stakeholder platform

The launch was timed to coincide with the European Commission’s first high level multi-stakeholder platform focusing on the implementation of the SGDs.

Held yesterday, the platform aims to support cooperation between key institutions and agencies at the European level. It brings together stakeholders from civil society, NGOs and the private sector level to “support and advise”​ the Commission on the implementation of SGDs.

Representing the food industry at the meeting alongside FoodDrinkEurope was farmers’ group Copa-Cogeca and Unilever CEO Paul Pollman.

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