During the last AGRIFISH Council of 28-29 November, the Austrian delegation supported by Latvia presented a document proposing a New European Food Model. The proposal supports a holistic approach for the food chain centred around the principle of sustainability and takes into account “food security and safety, quality, regionality, diversity, value and appreciation of food”.
The document presented by the Austrian delegation to the AGRIFISH Council is a result of a joint workshop organised by the Austrian Agriculture Ministry and the Austrian Association of Food Industries early in January 2012. The topic of the workshop was to discuss “A new European Food Model: Challenges and opportunities”.
The meeting on which the document is based, gathered inputs from policy makers, food industry, academia and consumers on actions and measures that should be launched or conducted more intensively in a European food model. The overarching principle of sustainability should serve as the basis for food security, safety and quality, diversity and regionality, as well as the value and appreciation of food. Notably, however, no specific representation from public health and social actors was mentioned; nor were any considerations of access to food, nutritional profile or social objectives of food production and consumption referred to.
Yet, a number of good points were included and are worth emphasising. Under the theme of food security, challenges of a rising world population, the impacts of climate change, food waste and the problems of food price volatility. The issues considered important under the theme of food quality were identified as adequate sales promotion, and under regionality and diversity added value of rural areas, climate protection, local agriculture and regional cooperation (within the EIP on Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability), food supply chain cooperation were believed to be the most important.