Fedima hosts Panel Discussion on Sustainability in the Food Sector as part of Annual General Conference
Fedima, the Federation of European Manufacturers and Suppliers of Ingredients to the Bakery, Confectionary and Patisseries Industries, hosts a panel discussion with industry stakeholders on the importance of sustainability in the food value chain, as part of its online and in-person Annual General Conference.
The discussion on sustainability in the food sector followed the General Assembly, and gathered high-level experts from across the industry, including Hubertus Gay from OECD, Nicolas Lambert, director of Fairtrade Belgium, Federica Dolce from Safe Food Advocacy Europe, and Andrea Sorbello from Barilla. The guest speakers examined the major role that sustainability plays in the food value chain and shared their insights on the challenges it poses and the urgency of enhancing it, involving all actors of the industry.
"Sustainability entails a triple challenge for global agriculture in terms of provision of food, use of resources and livelihood for rural areas and farmers [...] Although we have observed a decline in carbon intensity for additional food production, further investigation needs to be conducted to reduce the pressure on the environment, as food demand continues to grow", explained Hubertus Gay from the OECD.
"62% of consumers globally expect companies to have ethical values in line with sustainability, which is strongly bonded to social justice. Therefore the time for shifting towards sustainability is now not only because consumers but also governments, and particularly the European Union, are asking the industry to take a strong commitment by creating EU law and fostering partnerships", stated Nicolas Lambert, director of Fairtrade Belgium.
In line with that, Federica Dolce from Safe Food Advocacy Europe stressed that "sustainability cannot be achieved by consumers making certain choices in the supermarket. A structural change is needed from consumer's responsibility to creating a new food environment, in which all actors of the food chain should equally collaborate in order to make the food system more sustainable".
Andrea Sorbello from multinational company Barilla noted that "the main challenge for the food industry is to find a balance between a sustainable approach to supply chain, the tasty bakery product that the consumer demands and the budget of food companies". Nevertheless, Barilla has already taken several steps towards sustainability. "Over 10.000 farms are engaged in our sustainable agriculture projects, almost 100% of our packaging is recyclable and we have reduced CO2 by 31% and water use by 23% since 2010", he added.
After a round of questions raised by the audience, Dirk Van Ham, Fedima's Secretary General concluded the discussion by thanking the panellists for their outstanding insights on the topic, and closed the second part of Fedima's General Conference with a virtual applause.