Food is not only a primary human need, but a highly symbolic part of European cultural and family life.
Europe imports more agricultural and fisheries commodities that any other continent on earth, and the combined strength of its consumers’ emotional and commercial relationship with the agricultural supply chain gives them a very powerful and active voice.
In the EU, high levels of consumer engagement mean that at EU level regulation is currently driven by the human and environmental safety agenda, rather than an innovation or productivity agenda.
Public consultations on reform and simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy in 2017 will provide new impetus to the debate on how to ensure a sustainable, competitive, innovative and economically viable EU agriculture sector in the future
Meanwhile, with obesity levels rising to ‘epidemic proportions’ across the continent there is also redoubled interest in food labelling and nutrition.