European consumers want to know that the food they buy is safe and, where packaged, that the materials in that packaging keep it fresh and do not compromise the quality of the food inside. Today the European Commission inaugurates the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) for Food Contact Materials. EU legislation ensures that all materials that come into contact with food comply with standards so that safe food remains safe. The CRL will establish an equivalent level of laboratory practice across the EU. It will serve as a point of reference for issues relating to the enforcement of legislation on food contact materials, through a network of National Reference Laboratories and will develop methods, reference substances, training and so on to ensure the best possible implementation of EU legislation in this field. Food contact materials are essential in processing, transporting and storing food. Food packaging is a particularly important material, as it must prevent deterioration of, and at the same time avoid interacting with the food concerned. The CRL will be based at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy.