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Food Policy News
EU and global policy concerning the production, distribution, and consumption of food
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EU Smarter Rules for Safer Food - the Animal & Plant Health Package

EU Smarter Rules for Safer Food - the Animal & Plant Health Package | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

The European Commission has adopted on Monday 6 May 2013 a package of measures to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain.

The package of measures provide a modernised and simplified, more risked-based approach to the protection of health and more efficient control tools to ensure the effective application of the rules guiding the operation of the food chain. Five draft regulations are put into adoption procedure with other EU institutions, including the European Parliament and the Council. The main four are foreseen to be adopted in next 2 years:

- Official controls,

- Animal health,

- Plant health,

- Plant reproductive material (including seeds)

 

The current body of EU legislation covering the food chain consists of almost 70 pieces of legislation. The package of reform will cut this down to 5 pieces of legislation and will also reduce the red-tape on processes and procedures for farmers, breeders and food business operators (producers, processors and distributors) to make it easier for them to carry out their profession.

Knapco's insight:

The package is particularly relevant in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

"Restoring the trust and confidence of our citizens and trading partners is key given that the agri-food industry is the second largest economic sector in the EU, employing over 48 million people and is worth some €750 billion a year," he said.

"Let me highlight three issues that will be dealt with in the context of the proposal with respect to this issue as proposed in the control regulation :

Firstly: sanctions for operators who commit fraud will be commensurate to the economic gain as a result of fraud

Secondly: the legislation now enables the Commission to require testing and controls in areas such as food fraud and not only to recommend as has currently been the case

Thirdly: the legislation now requires that official controls should also be unannounced in order to strengthen our tools to fight fraud."

The legislation requires that official controls should also be unannounced in order to strengthen the tools to fight fraud.

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Knapco's curator insight, May 6, 2013 11:22 AM

As announced by the commissioner Borg, the EU's from farm-to-fork policy aims to ensure a high level of health for humans, animals and plants through the development of risk based rules as well as preventing, managing and mitigating risks that threaten our food chain. The package is particularly relevant in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

The legislation requires that official controls should also be unannounced in order to strengthen the tools to fight fraud.

"Another key part of the Commission's proposal is extending and strengthening the financing of the effective implementation of these controls but it must be noted that microenterprises will be exempted from the new fees system – but not from controls," said commissioner Borg.

 

He stressed the importance of plant health. Crops that are grown in the EU account for €205 billion annually. Europe's agriculture, forest and natural heritage are being threatened by the introduction of new pest species as a result of globalisation and climate change. The proposal aims to address these threats by upgrading the existing plant health regime; increasing the traceability of plant material; focusing on high risk trade and providing better surveillance and early eradication of outbreaks of new pest species as well as providing financial compensation for growers.

 

Borg has highlighted that 60% of the world export value in seeds originates from the EU. With this in mind, this reform provides simpler and more flexible rules for the marketing of seeds and other plant reproductive material to ensure the productivity; adaptability and diversity to Europe's crop production and to facilitate their trade.

"Our aim is to introduce a broader choice for the users thus including new improved and tested varieties, material not fulfilling the variety definition (heterogeneous material), traditional varieties and niche market material. This will contribute to protection of biodiversity and to breeding oriented towards sustainable agriculture," he said at today's launche of the package.

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European Commission - Environment - Consultations - Sustainable Consumption and Production

The European Commission wants to gather views and additional information on the possible introduction of EU wide measures related to Sustainable Consumption and Production.

In a period from 11.01.2012 to 03.04.2012 the consultation also looks at Green Public Procurement (GPP), the Environmental Footprint of Products (PEF) and the Environmental Footprint of Organisations (OEF). The consultation offers an opportunity to all interested parties to express their views, to give their opinion on the proposed policy options.

Contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities are welcomed by the Commission. 

(EC Environment via Facebook)

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Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

The European Commission's Horizon 2020 is a framework document. The proposal is divided into three priority areas: Excellent Science; Industrial Leadership; Societal Challenges. In addition the roles of the JRC and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) are specified.

 

In 2011 the European Commission drafted proposals for a Regulation to establish the development of the next Framework Programme to replace the Framework Programme 7 (FP7) which was coming to an end. This was entitled Horizon 2020. The European Commission has agreed the proposals and it is expected that final agreement of the European Parliament will be reached in 2013, with the launch of the first calls expected in 2014.

 

The continuation of identifying research priorities and communicating these priorities to DG Research and Innovation, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) as well as the Member States is an aspect of European Food Safety Authority's Science Strategy relating to the strengthening the scientific evidence for risk assessment and risk monitoring. Contributing to the developing Horizon 2020 programme will be integral in meeting the objectives in this area.

 

Within the proposal Part III, Societal Challenges relates directly to the policy priorities and societal challenges identified in the Europe 2020 Strategy. One of the main objectives in this part focuses on “Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research, and the bio economy” with the specific objective “to secure sufficient supplies of safe and high quality food and other bio-based products, by developing productive and resource-efficient primary production systems, fostering related ecosystem services, along side competitive and low carbon supply chains.” Plant health with research on harmful organisms fits to this safe food reference in the proposal. The broad lines of activities under this part include „sustainable and competitive agri-food sector for a safe and healthy diet‟.

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