MILAN, ITALY — The Agri-Food Chain Coalition (AFCC), representing 11 leading industry associations across the agri-food chain, on June 29 presented its joint declaration entitled: “Food for Thought: A vision for unlocking the potential of agriculture and food industries in the E.U.” to Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan.
 
The event took place on the first day of the Food & Drink Week at the Universal Expo in Milan, Italy, with the aim of showcasing the importance of science and innovation in the E.U. agri-food sector.
 
Commissioner Hogan, in his keynote address, said, “Innovation is the key to sustainable food security; through innovation, we can improve resource-efficiency, adapt to climate change, improve food safety, diversity and quality while maintaining the competitiveness of the agri-food sector and creating more and better jobs in rural areas.”
 
Speaking on behalf of the AFCC, Alexander Döring, chair of the AFCC and secretary general of the European Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC) said, “The AFCC is pleased to see Commissioner Hogan’s commitment to stimulate innovation in the agri-food chain, as a top priority. AFCC members insist on the need to reshape the E.U. policy framework by removing bottlenecks and providing new incentives to favor the development of a comprehensive innovation toolbox allowing E.U. agri-food chain partners to become more productive in a sustainable way.”
 
Members of the AFCC called on the commissioner to give serious consideration to the recommendations outlined in the joint declaration to help ensure that Europe’s agri-food chain can continue to meet the ever changing needs of consumers, grow sustainably, innovate and create jobs.
 
Specifically, the vision calls for:
• Fostering agricultural and food chain research to sustain innovation, thanks to better and smarter policy-making;
• Promoting the creation and protection of jobs in the agri-food sector;
• Taking into account the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability in every E.U. policy measure.