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EU agri-food sector associations call for policy support for innovation

Agri-Food Chain Coalition presents how innovation can fuel a strong and competitive EU agri-food sector to Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan The Agri-Food Chain Coalition (AFCC)[i], representing 11 leading industry associations across the agri-food chain, today presented its joint declaration entitled: “Food for Thought: a vision for unlocking the potential of agriculture and food industries in the EU[1]” to the Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan. The event took place on the first day of the Food & Drink Week[2] at the Universal Expo in Milan with the aim of showcasing the importance of science and innovation in the EU 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 EU policy framework by removing bottlenecks and providing new incentives to favour the development of a comprehensive innovation toolbox allowing EU 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 EU policy measure. Note to editor: The Agri-Food Chain Coalition includes representatives of agricultural input industries such as suppliers of machinery, seeds, fertilizers, crop protection, animal health, feed and biotechnology-based products, the agricultural trade, EU farmers and the European food and drink manufacturing sector. Together, these industries account for about 30 million jobs and 3.5% of the EU’s gross value added. — [1] Food for Thought: a vision for unlocking the potential of agriculture and food industries in the EU [2] The meeting of the AFCC took place under the patronage of FoodDrinkEurope’s 2015 Congress “Taste of Tomorrow” at the EU Pavilion which runs from 29 June – 3 July and each day addresses a key challenge. Follow the congress on Twitter at #tasteoftomorrow [i] CELCAA (European Liaison Committee for the Agricultural and Agri-Food Trade), CEMA (European Agricultural Machinery), COCERAL (European Association of cereals, rice, feedstuffs, oilseeds, olive oil, oils and fats and agro supply trade), Copa-Cogeca (European Farmers and Agri-Cooperatives), ECPA (European Crop Protection Association), ESA (European Seed Association), EuropaBio (European Association for Bio Industries), FEFAC (European Feed Manufacturers Federation), Fertilizers Europe (European Fertilizers Association), FoodDrinkEurope (European Food and Drink Industry), IFAH Europe (European Animal Health Industry)