17 Oct 2022

The European Commission continues its efforts towards sustainable food systems

In its Farm to Fork strategy, published in May 2020, the European Commission recognises the shift to sustainable food systems as a catalyzer to achieve the climate, biodiversity and environmental objectives laid out in the European Grean Deal, while also ensuring speedy recovery from crises hitting the globe, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, in September 2021, the Commission proposed  a legislative framework for sustainable food systems (FSFS), to accelerate and facilitate the transition to food sustainability, to ensure that foods placed on the EU market become increasingly sustainable, and to establish new foundations for future food policies. The initiative will introduce general principles and objectives based on an integrated food system approach, together with the requirements and responsibilities of all actors in the EU food system.

In EUROPEN’s view, preventing avoidable food waste at all stages of the supply chain is an important part of delivering a circular economy and of creating a more sustainable food system that should not be overlooked. Food loss represents a missed opportunity to feed the growing world population, a major waste of resources and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions accounting for 6% of total EU GHGs emissions. It is important to acknowledge the important role of packaging in the prevention of food waste, protecting products and minimising waste at all stages of the value chain. Packaging solutions:

  • Can preserve food safety by minimising sources of contamination and reduce food waste from spoilage. Allow foodstuff to remain fresh and safe during transport, storage, handling and distribution.
  • Increase products’ shelf life.
  • Help consumers buy and use food in portions that match their needs and reduce food waste from leftovers.


  • 2021: The Sustainable Food System Framework initiative was launched in 2021, with a first roadmap consultation held from September to October 2021. The European Commission launched a public consultation on the initiative from April to July 2022.
  • 12 September 2022: The Commission launched an online survey which aimed at gathering business operators’ views on a range of issues that the EU sustainable food systems initiative may address.


  • Q4 2023: Expected publication of the European Commission’s Sustainable Food System Framework initiative. (Proposal for a Regulation)