AFCC calls to strengthen food systems’ resilience during crisis times through innovation  

On Monday, 28th  November, the Agri-Food Chain Coalition (AFCC) held an event at the European Parliament around the need to strengthen food systems’ resilience and autonomy during crisis, hosted by MEP Marlene Mortler.

The event brought together representatives from the European Parliament, Parliamentary Policy Advisors, the FAO Liaison Office of Brussels, and many other stakeholders and representatives of the agri-food chain to discuss and support innovative solutions and policies in the European agriculture and farming sector.

Host MEP Marlene Mortler opened the event and presented some key elements of her INI report titled: Ensuring food security and long-term resilience of the EU agriculture: “Our European food production urgently needs to become a strategic cornerstone for Europe. The topic of food security should be re-imagined beyond times of crisis within the wider Farm to Fork strategy and its reduction targets. European and global supply should be robust and crisis-proof. The Commission must focus much more quickly and strongly on digital innovations. The goal should be: reduction of inputs through innovation!”.

Raschad AlKhafaji, Director of FAO Brussels underscored the paramount importance of partnerships in “transforming agrifood systems to make them more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all”.

Ana Granados, Director of EFFAB (European Animal Breeders) and current Chair of the AFCC, concluded: “Food security, as defined by FAO, and as described in the own-initiative report of MEP Mortler, is not limited to the provision of food, but also encompasses the internationally recognised human right to food and access to healthy diets for all. This shows us how innovative solutions and policies are needed; as well as improved crisis preparedness and dynamic mechanisms to create a friendly policy environment for innovation in the EU.”

Joint Statement: Strengthening Foods Systems Resilience and Autonomy in Times of Crisis

Geopolitical volatility, and in particular the war in Ukraine, are seriously impacting food security and affordability worldwide. In combination with climate change, this has quickly become a legitimate concern, threatening the resilience of EU food production by jeopardising access to affordable food for many of our fellow citizens.

The EU agri-food supply chain is facing unique challenges as a result of the rising prices and scarcity of energy and other essential inputs needed to guarantee food autonomy. We are seeing disruptions to food supply chains in the EU and negative impacts on rural and coastal communities. Regardless of the agriculture and farming methods, from organic to more conventional activities, we are all experiencing strong negative impacts.

On the consumer side, inflation, and in particular food inflation, in the European Union is reaching record-breaking levels, affecting the way citizens access affordable, safe, and nutritious food. The ability to ensure the three pillars of sustainable development is now compromised, more than ever.

To ensure food autonomy, strong support for innovative solutions and policies is necessary, along with the need to secure the necessary availability and affordability of inputs for agriculture and food products and avoid the increase in dependency on the import of inputs.

The EU agriculture and farming sectors are pivotal players to improve the resilience of EU food systems, and innovation is a crucial means to achieve this, hand in hand with food security. To remain resilient, we need innovative policies and the implementation of urgent measures, capable of addressing current and future challenges.

The Agri-Food Chain Coalition (AFCC) is united in its call for sustainable, solution-oriented, and innovative policies that strengthen food systems’ resilience and autonomy in our current times of crisis. The AFCC is committed to addressing the current challenges faced in the EU and is encouraging cutting-edge solutions for a more sustainable, competitive, efficient, and secure agri-food system in Europe.

The AFCC is a joint initiative representing 11 associations across the agri-food system and promoting innovative solutions to tackle challenges the sector faces. Members represent European farmers, cooperatives, and companies from the agriculture and livestock sector, farm equipment, plant and animal breeders, fertilisers, crop protection, animal health, feed, biotechnology-based products, and agricultural trade.

More info on AFCC:

  • AnimalhealthEurope
  • CEMA Agri
  • Coceral
  • Copa Cogeca
  • CropLife
  • EuropaBio
  • Euroseeds
  • Fertilisers Europe