The report, Decarbonisation roadmap for the food and drink manufacturing sector, stated that food production from farm-to-fork represented 30% of total carbon emissions within the EU, with the manufacturing process accounting for 11% of this share – or 3% of the total.
The report recommended a number of action that could be taken by food and drink businesses to help decarbonise the sector and make a significant contribution the EU carbon neutrality target.
Manufacturers and government
This included actions that could be taken by processing plants – such setting baselines for emissions that could be easily monitored to help inform manufacturers’ decision making processes – to changes in policy to help overcome barriers preventing long-term investment in sustainability issues.
Report author Alfredo Lopez Carretero said: “Overall, we hope this report will facilitate dialogue between industry and policymakers, to assist with this challenging transition.”
Laura Degallaix, FoodDrinkEurope director for environmental sustainability, called the report a major step to helping its members plot a path towards net-zero emissions.
“We are in a climate emergency, and we must tackle it with the urgency it demands,” she added. “That’s why earlier this week FoodDrinkEurope signed the EU’s ground-breaking farm-to-fork Code of Conduct in which food chain actors committed to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
‘Develop an enabling environment’
“We will now work with our members to translate Ricardo’s report into action on the ground and build on the many climate commitments already made by our industry. It will be especially important to work with EU and national policymakers to develop an enabling environment, including financial support mechanisms which will be vital for SMEs.”
Last week saw a number of food and drink manufacturers and organisations – including Nestlé, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe and Kerry Group – sign the EU Code of Conduct for Responsible Business and Marketing Practices in a bid to make food more sustainable.
Silviu Popovici, PepsiCo’s chief executive for Europe and FoodDrinkEurope Vice-President, added: “There is no vaccine for climate change. I am very proud of the food and drink sector working together to decarbonise our industry. Only collective action will have the scale to halt climate change.”