The European Parliament approved a report on European agrofood quality in Strasbourg last week that includes some key proposals for maintaining food quality across the continent as well as the introduction of a new European quality trademark.
Key issues addressed by the report are the simplification of marketing regulations (if a product meets food safety requirements, market access cannot be hindered for “reasons related to product shape or size”); consumer protection (by providing more information and transparency); and a plan to create a new agency to defend the quality of European foodstuffs.
In addition, it harmonizes regulation on forbidden pesticides limits in organic products, increases protection for quality produce and geographical origins, requests stronger protection at WTO from the European Commission and provides for creating a “European quality agency”.
The report also introduces mandatory labelling of the production site of raw materials, with the European Parliament highlighting that geographical indications are an “important community legacy” and “quality guarantee must be supported”.
Importantly, by taking a stance against the “reduction of agrofood products’ variety” in markets where large retailers are very strong, farmer’s market are being much encouraged by the report – places where producers can: “ensure a fair price for high quality products, strengthen the product’s link with the local territory and make consumers aware of quality aspects”.