The European Commission has published today a report exploring the possibilities of adopting a local farming and direct sales labelling scheme in the future, as requested by the current legislation on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs.
Describing the main features of local farming, short food supply chains and direct sales in the EU, the report and the accompanying Staff Working Document examine the challenges faced by small-scale producers and short food supply chains and present existing policy tools at EU level.
Commissioner Dacian Cioloş said: "Increasing the role of local food systems is an answer to a clear expectation among EU citizens. It is also particularly important for farmers and for the diversity of EU agriculture. Via direct sales and closer contacts with consumers, EU farmers can add value to their products, boost their sales and better understand the expectations of EU citizens with regard to food and food production methods. That's why we want to encourage farmers to develop local food systems and to discuss the best ways to increase the visibility of their products".
The Commission calls on the European Parliament, the Council, Member States and regions to reflect on whether existing policy tools and measures are appropriate and provide adequate flexibility for this type of farming and sales. Demand for quality, fresh and local food is increasing across the EU, often combined with environmental, climate and social expectations, based on the assumption that local, seasonal and ecologically-sound food chains have the potential to contribute to reducing carbon emissions and food waste.