EC Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan
Sustainability is one of FDF’s core priorities. Regarding environmental
sustainability our members have a good track record of reducing their
impact in recent years.
Moreover in October 2007 FDF launched a Five-Fold Environmental Ambition
focusing on five core impact areas where the industry can make a positive
to continuous improvement.
However as the Commission’s EIPRO and IMPRO studies have demonstrated there are
key improvement potentials upstream (agriculture) and downstream (consumer
behaviour) for the industry. This is why it is necessary to focus on
most effective strategies and measures for the food chain as a whole involving
all key players on a shared responsibility basis including farmers, industry,
transport sector, retailers, consumers, the waste management industry and
The European Commission has been tasked to implement the EU’s policy on
Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) which is a broader concept than
sustainability alone as it brings in the notion of changing consumer behaviour
sustainability goals. Food and drink are among the top three priority product
areas for the EC in the SCP area following the conclusions of the EIPRO study.
The Sustainable Consumption and Production(SCP) and Sustainable Industrial
Policy (SIP) Action Plan was adopted by the Commission on 16 July 2008 with the
overriding aim of improving the overall environmental performance of products
throughout their life cycle, promoting and stimulating the demand for better
and production technologies and helping consumers to make better choices.
The SCP package includes two legislative proposals of potential significance to
the food industry: an extended EU Eco-design Directive (based on the current
Energy-Using Products Directive) and a revised EU Eco-label Regulation. The
of the former is extended to ‘energy related products’, defined as “any goods
having an impact on energy consumption during use”. The EC has so far been
to clarify whether this would cover food. Products falling into the scope will
also fall into the scope of a revised Energy Labelling Directive publication of
which is to follow.
The revised Ecolabel regulation remains voluntary but its scope is extended to
processed food and products of fisheries and aquaculture (Art 2) but
specifically for food the label would disregard the agriculture and consumption
As part of the Action Plan the Commission also proposes the establishment of a
“Retail Forum” to reduce the environmental footprint of the retail sector and
supply chain, promote more sustainable products and better inform consumers.
Although this would also involve producers, retailers would have the leading
being tasked with drafting the terms of reference.
Last reviewed: 19 May 2010