New EU code of conduct will help reduce environmental footprint

New EU code of conduct will help reduce environmental footprint

An EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices has been launched that will aid the European Union (EU) in its efforts to increase availability and affordability of healthy and sustainable food options.

One of the first initiatives to be delivered under the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy, it will also help the EU reduce its overall environmental footprint.

This code of conduct has been developed with EU associations and companies, with active involvement and input from other stakeholders, including international organisations, NGOs, trade unions and trade associations, together with the European Commission services.

Associations and companies in the food sector that sign the code are contributing to a sustainable transition, are endorsing the objectives set out in the code, and are encouraging similar companies to take part.

Code of conduct – 65 signatories

There are 65 signatories, currently, comprising 26 food manufacturers, 14 food retailers, one from the foodservice sector, and 24 associations.

The Kerry Group, Syngenta, UECBV (European Livestock and Meat Trading Union), COPA COGECA (European farmers and European agri-co-operatives) are just some of the companies and associations that have pledged their support. More are invited to join the code.

There are two levels of commitments included in the scheme:

  • EU associations: a set of seven objectives, each with its targets and indicative actions. These relate to actions that promote healthy and sustainable consumption patterns. The objective is to improve the impact of food processing, retail and food services’ operations on sustainability and to improve the sustainability of the food value chains, in relation to primary producers and other actors in the chain. Associations should report on progress on a yearly basis.
  • Companies: framework for frontrunners for ambitious commitments with measurable outcomes covering a wide range of areas, from animal welfare, to sugar reduction and cutting greenhouse gas emissions in their full product range. Companies will report progress by submitting a summary of their sustainability report on an annual basis.

The Commission intends to present the code in the United Nations’ Food Systems Summit later this year.


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