No time for business as usual: The food and drink industry’s growth ambition

The EU and the food and drink industry are living through challenging times. As the leading European manufacturing sector in terms of turnover and employment, the food and drink industry has a big responsibility regarding growth and jobs, but also regarding the well-being of consumers, and of course environmental sustainability. The food and drink industry can respond and has shown resilience even throughout the most difficult times. If we look into the past 20 years, we see a success story. The industry has been constantly innovating, in order to improve its sustainability, to provide a greater and always improved choice for consumers, and to become a leading industry in the EU as well as worldwide. Today we continue to have a positive impact on the European economy.

We cannot take the past success for granted however: we’re slowly losing our competitive edge on the global stage, our reputation is being challenged, the pressure on natural resources is mounting, etc.

Today we are at a turning point: either we continue along the current path which will result in a slowing down of our growth rate, or we step up our efforts. This is not about reinventing our base line and our values, but about thinking of new ways to address the challenges responsibly and to creating solutions in an integrated way.

The food and drink industry has made its ambition clear: we commit to generating value added growth of 2.5-3.5% per year by 2025. This is a step forward compared to our past performance and a significant contribution to the EU. To this end, we have prepared an ambitious programme for our industry. We aim to

• Make a wider variety of products accessible to consumers across the EU,

• Expand our global position as leading supplier of value-added products,

• Create more opportunities for research & innovation Including innovation at the service of formulation and healthy choices,

• Become a more attractive industry for all workers, and

• Promote fair trading practices along the food supply chain.

While we take full responsibility for our results, we cannot achieve this ambition alone. The food and drink sector involves multiple players across the chain from farm to fork, who must work together for sustainable growth and employment.

It is imperative that policy makers in the EU create the enabling policy framework for us to achieve this programme.

Click here to find out more about our ambitious programme for a competitive food and drink industry for growth and jobs and make sure to check the video with FoodDrinkEurope's President, Mr Gilles Morel, presenting our ambition.