High Level Forum to take on challenges of food sector
The European Commission has decided today to extend the mandate of the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry, upgrading it to a High Level Forum to improve the functioning of the food supply chain as regards contractual relations, logistics and competitiveness. The agro-food industry represents 2% of Europe's GDP and 13.5% of total employment in the EU’s manufacturing sector. It consists of approximately 310 000 enterprises, including some global leaders. It continues to play a fundamental role in satisfying the needs of consumers and contributes an annual production of more than € 600 billion to the EU economy. However, the entire European food supply chain has entered a period of adjustment. Consumer preferences are changing as a result of income and lifestyle developments as well as shifts in population. Customer concerns about food safety, health and prices have also imposed stringent requirements on the sector.