EU Specialty Food Ingredients - Statement

23 October 2023

EU Specialty Food Ingredients, the voice of the European specialty food ingredients industry, notes that the Framework for Sustainable Food Systems (FSFS) legislative proposal is not included in the 2024 European Commission working programme published on 17th October. EU Specialty Food Ingredients emphasises that even with the current European Commission not proposing an FSFS, the food industry continues on its path towards building more sustainable and resilient food systems as it clearly sees the advantages of the FSFS and supports its aims.

EU Specialty Food Ingredients calls for continuous institutional engagement towards a ripe EU legislative framework that supports industry to contribute to a more innovative and scientifically-based sustainable food system. 

To this end, EU Specialty Food Ingredients also recalls that the proposal's core objective was to promote policy coherence at the EU and national level, and mainstream, at the international level, sustainability in all food-related policies strengthening the resilience of food systems.

As a trade association representing the interests of a highly innovative industry, EU Specialty Food Ingredients has, as part of its mission, to ensure recognition of the importance of innovation and of the role of specialty ingredients in sustainable diets and food supply chains, as well as their contribution to food waste prevention. Thus, it advocates for a scientific risk-based approach to all measures that the EU Commission intends to complete by the current mandate and in the future as they impact the viability and competitiveness of the EU food industry.

“We consider a conducive regulatory framework essential to innovation, development and timely access to market,” says Geert Maesmans, President of EU Specialty Food Ingredients. “These elements are critical drivers for the transition to sustainable food systems, from primary production to consumption and, in our opinion, will help achieve the EU’s environmental, social and economic objectives. Therefore, an EU-common, science-based framework is crucial.”

While acknowledging that there is ‘no one size fits all’ solution, Geert Maesmans goes on to say that the importance of increasing the resilience of the EU supply chain and fostering constructive interactions with the food industry cannot be neglected, including when developing the secondary legislation which is crucial to successfully accompany the  EU food industry in the Sustainable Food Systems journey, as well as in providing the instruments to react and swiftly adjust to social changes and market crisis.

EU Specialty Food Ingredients is also keen to help the EU legislators establish clear, ambitious, realistic and measurable objectives and roadmaps that will enable food supply chain stakeholders to develop their own plans with a clear direction on the road towards a sustainable food system.

“In conclusion, EU Specialty Food Ingredients hopes that putting on hold the Framework Legislation will translate into an occasion to further reflect on the legislative measures to succeed in the EU's ambitions towards a sustainable, innovative and resilient EU food system, and it aims that this time will be constructively used to give the opportunity to the EU food supply stakeholders to be more involved into the legislative drafting of the framework proposal and the secondary legislation,” says Geert Maesmans.

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