Food is at the centre of our lives and an integral part of the European culture. Food also plays a crucial role in our economy: it is the Union’s biggest manufacturing sector in terms of employment and contribution to GDP. Also, the food we eat, the ways we produce it and the amounts wasted have major impacts on human health, on natural resources and on society as a whole.
The EESC’s Temporary Study Group on Sustainable Food, together with the Food Lawyers’ Network - FLN, invites you for an one-day conference on innovation in food. With high-levels speakers, including from the European Commission, and a multitude of expertise gathered in the conference room, there will be a focus on market access for regulated products, especially novel food and on science against food fraud as well as intellectual property for food including patents and data protection.
In the context of the UN 2030 Agenda, the European Economic and Social Committee will hold a public debate where we will explore how the EESC has worked towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in practice – both with civil society, and within the Committee itself.
The EESC has received a request from the incoming Dutch EU Presidency for an exploratory opinion on how to achieve more sustainable food systems in a resource-constrained world. In the past few years, civil society has been increasingly concerned about the environmental, economic and social impact of unsustainable food chains. Globally, about one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. Food is also one of the most important drivers of environmental pressures. The hearing will represent an opportunity to hear from experts and stakeholders about their views and initiatives for a transition to more sustainable food systems in Europe. The discussion will take a holistic and systemic approach by considering the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainability and the importance of cross-sectoral co-operation across the food supply chain.
The use of single-use plastics in packaging has grown significantly in the last decades, and with it, the pollution of our environment. There is an urgent need to improve the sustainability of our food systems, which includes also the development of more sustainable food packaging. The objective of this study is to identify and examine successful examples and approaches to food packaging in the EU and beyond, considering consumer safety, environmental, economic, social, legal and food waste reduction considerations.
The EESC Permanent Study Group on Sustainable Food Systems aims to contribute to the development of a comprehensive food policy in the EU. This leaflet presents its main priorities and ongoing work.