The European Commission launched discussions with stakeholders on designing a code of conduct for business and marketing.
Retail co-operatives will be represented in the talks by the European Community of Consumer Cooperatives (Euro Coop). The apex body attended a launch event on 26 January, which featured executive vice-president Frans Timmermans and commissioner Stella Kyriakides.
Representatives from Independent Retail Europe and EuroCommerce will also be involved in the discussions.
The plan will see the code emphasise the collective role of actors along the food chain in the transition towards a more sustainable EU food system, to make it easier for consumers to choose healthy and sustainable diets. It will cover the economic, social, and environmental aspects related to the sustainability of food systems and reflect the goals of the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy and the European Green Deal.
Euro Coop secretary-general, Todor Ivanov, said: “Retailers have a close relationship with their communities. We work closely with local suppliers to offer them a ready outlet for quality healthy food sustainably produced, and access to consumers ready to buy them. We pay a premium for that quality, but sustainable food should not be a privilege for the few.
“By creating volume can also help put those sustainable products more easily in reach of all consumers, who are the owners of consumer co-ops. It should be a clear objective for the code of conduct that it serves everyone involved, from the producer to the consumer – and not least our planet. As value-driven businesses, consumer co-ops are ready to work with the EU policymakers to make this code a reality.”