Photo: Freshfel Europe general delegate, Philippe Binard
AREFLH and Freshfel Europe held an online Joint 2020 Annual Event on 29 September 2020, when they examined the key challenges ahead for the European fresh fruit and vegetable sector amid this unprecedented period. The Joint 2020 Annual Event focused on the pertinent theme ‘The Road Ahead – A Sector Fit for Future Challenges’. Speakers from the European Commission, the European Parliament and specialist market analysis discussed the EU’s policy priorities and the current changing market conditions affecting the sector in the short and long term.
With the advent of the European Green Deal marking a new sustainable era for Europe, AREFLH and Freshfel Europe dedicated their Joint 2020 Annual Event to the EU’s new policy priorities. The new CAP, the Farm to Fork Strategy’s policy agenda for the agri-food sector, changing trade developments as well as shifting market trends resulting from the on-going COVID-19 pandemic were discussed. European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski opened the Annual Event addressing 150 AREFLH and Freshfel Europe members on the new elements specific for fresh fruit and vegetable production in the new CAP. During the Annual Event Members of the European Parliament Herbert Dorfmann and Paolo De Castro also featured as guest speakers, remarking on the EU’s new political priorities and their impact for the sector in relation to fresh fruit and vegetable production and supply chain actors. To conclude the Annual Event IGD provided an in-depth market analysis on the outlook for fresh produce market trends in a world post-COVID-19.
AREFLH president, Simona Caselli, said: “The fruit and vegetables sector will still be influenced in the coming months by the same topics experienced over the last months, including Brexit, the debate on the Farm to Fork Strategy’s proposals and COVID-19 implications. The Joint AREFLH Freshfel Europe- Annual Event was therefore a good opportunity to review these topics and brief the sector for future development in the coming period”.
Freshfel Europe general delegate, Philippe Binard, said: “Although taking place in unprecedented circumstances, the Joint 2020 Annual Event has successfully gathered leading stakeholders in the European fresh fruit and vegetable sector to examine current and upcoming challenges for the industry. In consideration of the on-going global pandemic and the commencement of new EU policy priorities, there still remains a need to ensure that continued policy coherence efforts are not lost in moving towards a sustainable diet and meeting the WHO’s consumption recommendation of at least 400g of fruit and vegetables per capita per day throughout Europe”.
The Joint 2020 Annual Event was held online to facilitate participation from AREFLH’s and Freshfel Europe members from across Europe and internationally who were unable to travel to the annual industry-wide meeting due to COVID-19 restrictions.