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Plenary 2014

European Food SCP Round Table Plenary Meeting

25th November 2014, 10.00 to 17.30

European Commission, Albert Borschette Centre, 1040 Brussels



In November 2014, the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Round Table held its fifth annual meeting to review recent developments on environmental sustainability in the food chain, including footprinting activities such as the EU Environmental Footprint (EF) pilot tests, and food waste related activities.

The meeting was well attended by many stakeholders, including representatives of nearly every stage of the food supply chain, Member State representatives, non-governmental organisations and the scientific/research community. It was co-chaired by Pekka Pesonen, Secretary-General at Copa-Cogeca and Herbert Aichinger, Adviser to Director for Sustainable Resource Management, Industry and Air at the European Commission, DG Environment.

Nicolas Martin, Working Group 1 Co-Chair, European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation

Nicolas Martin provided an overview of Working Group 1 (WG1) activities, which focus on the environmental assessment methodology. In 2014, WG1 focused on drafting a report on the outcome of the public consultation and pilot test of the ENVIFOOD Protocol. The Protocol was launched at the last plenary meeting in 2013. In the context of the EU EF pilot tests, WG1 also worked on a modular approach to provide for a common understanding of cross-cutting issues for the food, feed and drink sectors, focusing on cultivation of annual and perennial crops, cooling and preparation of food products, and transport and storage. In addition, WG1 also focused its activities on databases on food, feed and drink sectors for life cycle assessment (LCA), and organised a workshop on this topic. In 2015, WG1 will further work on the modular approach, on coordination of data needs and database development, and on the promotion of the ENVIFOOD Protocol.

Presentation made by Nicolas Martin

Hanako Negishi Priestnall, Operator of EcoLeaf, Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry

Hanako Negishi Priestnall gave an overview of environmental footprint activities in Japan and in Thailand. JEMAI, the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry, developed the EcoLeaf environmental label which uses the LCA method to quantitatively show the environmental information of products through life cycle stages from the extraction of resources to manufacturing, assembly, distribution, use, discarding and recycling. Ms Negishi Priestnall also presented the Thai environmental footprint policy which focuses on product environmental footprint pilot projects which includes 14 impact categories, such as Yakitori (chicken) and convenience stores. 

Presentation 1 made by Hanako Negishi Priestnall

Presentation 2 made by Hanako Negishi Priestnall

Jet Wu, Taiwan Environmental Management Association

Jet Wu outlined the Taiwan Environmental Management Association’s activities and other environmental assessment activities in Taiwan. The Association was created by the Taiwan Ministry of Interior and its activities focus on promoting the environmental management systems and related tools in Taiwan. The main challenges are related to labelling because of the high number of environmental labels, and because different government agencies are in charge of different environmental labels, which leads to confusion. Mr Wu also mentioned that technology is not fully developed and there is a need for more detailed data.

Presentation made by Jet Wu


Michele Galatola, Product Team Leader, Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy, DG Environment European Commission

Michele Galatola presented the on-going EU EF pilots. The main aims of the EF project are to determine the same calculation rules for everybody, to define a representative product/organisation, to make secondary data freely available and to define benchmarks, and where relevant and appropriate, to define classes of environmental performance. There are 302 leading stakeholders in 27 pilots (13 in the food sector) with 666 individual stakeholders participating in the pilot tests. The main challenges the European Commission is facing are related to horizontal consistency between different pilots; the cow model working group (which aims to ensure consistency in modelling the cattle as a common element between several EF pilots: dairy, meat, leather, feed and pet food) which should reach an agreement by 30 December 2014; identification of independent reviewers; and availability of high quality and free secondary datasets.

Presentation made by Michele Galatola

Hélène Simonin, Director Food, Environment and Health, European Dairy Association

Hélène Simonin presented that dairy product environmental footprint (PEF) pilot, which is run by the European Dairy Association. The pilot includes companies and experts from the dairy industry and it addresses the environmental impact challenges faced by the industry, such as allocation issues. Ms Simonin mentioned that the final Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs) developed will become the product rules used by all stakeholders in the sector that measure the performance of their products based on PEF methodology. Stakeholders were invited to participate as external participants to the dairy pilot.


Presentation made by Hélène Simonin

Tijmen De Vries, Director Public Affairs, European Coffee Federation
Tijmen de Vries outlined the PEF project for coffee based beverages, run by the European Coffee Federation. The pilot includes actors from the coffee sector, including leading companies and organisations. The aim of the pilot is to help shape future policy developments, to develop a harmonised approach to assess and improve the environmental performance of coffee products, and to contribute to principles for communicating environmental performance. Stakeholders were invited to participate as external participants to the coffee pilot.

Presentation made by Tijmen De Vries


Bernard Pruvost, Chair of EFBW’s Environment Working Group, European Federation of Bottled Waters
Bernard Pruvost gave an overview of the packed water pilot test, represented by the European Federation of Bottled Waters. Mr Pruvost explained that the pilot is focusing on key issues for the industry, such as packaging and transport. It also aims to clearly define the term ‘packed water’, which only includes natural mineral water, spring water and bottled drinking water, which can be still or carbonated. Similar to the other two pilot testers, Mr Pruvost also invited stakeholders to participate in the packed water pilot.  
Pascal Léglise, Quality and Sustainable Development (CSR) Director and Private Label Director, Carrefour Belgium and Carole Dubois, Director Institutional Affairs, Quantis International
Carole Dubois outlined the Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) pilot, which is represented by the European retail sector, and it includes retailers, national environmental agencies and environmental NGOs. Ms Dubois explained that the benchmark between two retailers is not relevant, because they have very different products (e.g. Decathlon sportsware versus Picard frozen food). The main goal of the pilot is internal reproducibility for decision making, internal marketing, but also external declaration or disclosure. Similarly, Mr Dubois invited participants to participate as stakeholders in the OEF pilot test. 
Carrefour is one of the retailers participating in the OEF pilot test and as Pascal Léglise mentioned, it is a very important exercise because Carrefour would like to be performant in its own structure, but not a standard for comparison. Carrefour has its own system for reporting on sustainable development related initiatives and it intends to rely on its experience and to use the relation with PEF pilots to develop the OEF.  
Camelia Bucatariu, Policy Development International Consultant, Food and Agriculture Organisation
FAO presented on food loss and food waste (FLW) at global level: the UN Zero Hunger Challenge; the 2014 Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and its High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) work on FLW in the context of sustainable food systems; as well as the FAO lead ‘Save Food’ Initiative, launched in 2011, which aims at worldwide multi-stakeholder partnerships (, policy and programme development, and coordinated dialogue between industry, R&D, policy and civil society.
Camelia Bucatariu mentioned that FAO collaborates with IFAD and WFP for a Global Community of Practice on food loss reduction (CoP). The CoP holds an e-consultation on levels, causes and solutions for maize food losses until 13 January 2015. 
The Organization launched in 2013, together with UNEP, the Version 1.0 of a FW guidance for food and drink waste prevention and reduction at retail, hospitality and food service level that stakeholders may test-pilot. The WRI lead FLW Measurement Protocol, with FAO part of the Steering Committee, is currently under development and the EU Project FUSIONS held its second EU Platform meeting in October 2014.
David Bellamy, Chair of Food Wastage Task Force, FoodDrinkEurope
David Bellamy highlighted ongoing initiatives on food waste prevention. The World Resource Institute developed different food wastage initiatives to develop the global standard and guidance for measuring loss and waste of food and associated inedible parts. The EU Fusions project is another initiative which mitigates for the prevention of food loss and waste across the whole supply chain through social innovation. Every Crumb Counts is a joint food wastage declaration which involves stakeholders from the EU food chain. In this context, FoodDrinkEurope held a food wastage survey in 2014. This showed that the majority of people are working to identify the causes of food waste and they are collaborating with other stakeholders to prevent and reduce food waste. Following the survey, the main recommendations refer to the exchange of best practices, the improvement of consumer understanding and to the harmonisation of the food waste definition.