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Focus on relationships in the food chain,
labelling and quality signs

This note underlines the specific points of the action plan being developed within the European Commission for the implementation of its “From Farm to Fork” (F2F) strategy. They relate to relations between farmers, processors and the distribution sector, product labelling and quality signs.  

At this stage, among the list of 43 actions drawn up by the Commission, only actions 7, 10 and 15 can be mentioned in “Part 1: Actions relating to the specific objectives of the strategy”. Actions 7 and 10 are in a sub-section entitled “Making food production more sustainable”. Action 15 is in a sub-section entitled “Promote sustainable food consumption, facilitating the transition towards healthy, sustainable diets”.

While the measures proposed for the labelling of products are precise and numerous (action 15), only one measure concerns signs of quality and is very vague: it is about “revise the legislative framework” (action 10). Finally, relations between actors in the food chain are virtually absent from this draft action plan, with only one mention proposing the possibility of granting exemptions to “allow actors to work together” (action 10).

Relationships in the food chain between farmers, processors and distribution

Action 10 entitled “Support primary producers in the transition” includes in particular the following point:

” – (To be discussed further/ Competition policy) Grant exemptions under Article 101(3) of the TFEU to allow actors in a sector to work together – if their intentions are honourable – for example to promote sustainability in supply chains by discussing how to raise incomes and wages of primary producers.”

Product labelling and quality signs

Action 10 (entitled “Support primary producers in the transition”) also includes the following point:

“Revise the legislative framework to strengthen the system of geographical indications, as a key part of maintaining high food quality and standards and ensuring that our cultural, gastronomic and local heritage is preserved and certified as authentic across the world. »

Action 15 entitled “Empower consumers to make sustainable food choices” is divided into the following actions:

  • Harmonise front-of-package nutrition labelling and explore the possibility to make it mandatory.
  • Require origin indication for milk and for milk and meat as ingredients
  • Develop an EU wide label that reflects the environmental and climate footprint of food products
  • Consider different ways of informing consumers on animal welfare throughout the food chain beyond minimum legal requirements
  • Explore the possibility to provide some food information by digital means and, if appropriate, follow up by adopting the relevant measures as foreseen in the Food information to Consumers Regulation
  • Develop a single sustainable food logo, integrating nutritional, environmental and social aspects.

In addition, Action 7 on “Marketing Standards” states, without more precision and as follows:

“Evaluate and revise the marketing standards for food products, including for fishery and aquaculture products, to enable the EU market to be supplied with sustainable products.”

Also note, in Action 4 entitled “Reduce the use of antimicrobials in agriculture”, the statement that “establish a list of antimicrobials reserved for human use and drawing up a list of antimicrobials that cannot be used off-label”.