Food and agriculture in EuropeWARSAW, MARCH 30th
- 30 March 2023
- Posted by: Competere
- Categories: Empowering Consumers, events, highlights, News
Food and agriculture in Europe
Can the Front-of-Pack labelling reform boost the Polish food sector?
SUMMARY OF THE ROUNDTABLE
>>> Read the press release <<<
In Poland, agriculture and the food industry represent an important sector of the economy, with many small and medium-sized enterprises producing high-quality food. The main agrifood industries produce a wide range of products, including dairy products, meat, cereal products, fruit and vegetables – which also includes extensive production of fruit juices, preserves and jams – and beverages.
In this context, it is important to analyze the implications of the choices that the European Commission is considering for the reform of the Front-of-Pack labelling system.
Poland, unlike Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and the Netherlands (Switzerland too), has not adopted the Nutriscore system. On the contrary, it has expressed concerns about its effectiveness and its ability to reflect the overall nutritional quality of a food product. This is because such a labelling system may have a negative impact not only on consumers but also on SMEs, putting their competitiveness at risk.
Furthermore, as a reductive and simplistic algorithm, the Polish culinary tradition – generally considered healthy because it is based on minimally processed products – could be put at risk: many of Poland’s top products would receive a red E (the worst grade). The fear is that we are moving towards a universal taste.
On March 30th, Competere together with THINKTANK, hosted an expert debate to investigate the Polish agrifood sector in relation to European rules and laws. Specifically, the roundtable explored whether the reform of FoP labelling can be a driver or detractor for the Polish food sector.
Andrzej Gantner, General Director of the Polish Federation of Food Producers
Julian Pawlak, President of the National Union of Juice Producers Association
Pietro Paganini, Co-founder of Competere.eu, Prof. at Temple University od Philadelphia
Dr. Jerzy Plewa, Director-General, DG AGRI, European Commission
Dr. Małgorzata Bonikowska, President of THINKTANK
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Criteria for speaker selection
The experts were selected from the best food and agriculture experts in Poland. Each of them has a rich practical experience and represents (or represented) institutions shaping agricultural policy and the food sector in Poland and abroad. We selected experts in such a way that their competences and knowledge complement each other and are as multi-sectoral as possible.
Dr. Jerzy Plewa was the Polish deputy minister of agriculture, he was also a member of the Negotiation Team for Poland’s membership in the European Union, responsible for agricultural matters. Later he became the Director General of DG AGRI in the European Commission. Today he is a member of Team Europe and analyzes, among others, the common agricultural policy of the EU.
Julian Pawlak represents the National Union of Juice Producers Association. This branch represents a very important percentage of consumption in Poland. What’s more, juices represent 53% of exports of all fruit preserves from Poland, which is why the voice of juice producers was very important to us in this debate.
Dr. Andrzej Gantner, Director General of the Polish Federation of Food Producers, has been involved in the food economy for over 20 years and is today one of the most respected experts in this matter in Poland. He is also among others an editor-in-chief of the quarterly “Food Lex”, member of the University Council of the University of Life Sciences in Lublin and member of the Food Sciences and Nutrition Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He represents the Polish Federation of Food Producers in the largest European food industry organization Food Drink Europe and in the European beverage organization UNESDA.
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