Sustainable Food Systems in Europe: The Role of SMEs in Addressing Food Security

Current inflation has reached the highest level in the European Union, the USA, and many other countries worldwide. The Russian aggression against Ukraine is putting pressure on high gas and food prices as a result of fragile food systems and the corona-pandemic. Undisputedly, more than ever, sustainable and resilient food systems are needed to counteract the negative developments ahead.

Small- and medium sized enterprises play an integral practical role in strategic fields of the food system as well as having a potentially broader impact in providing additional resilience notably in the field of primary production, retail, logistics, technology development and advisory services. However, SMEs face various obstacles such as the lack of affordable credits and finances and gaps in the supply chain. To help SMES to be a catalytic player, the European Union is taking actions to address food security. Thus, the Commission is taking steps to transform food system and sustainable and resilient productivity growth through the New Common Agriculture Policy, the Farm to Fork Strategy as heart of the European Green Deal as well as the Biodiversity Strategy. Moreover, the EU has been invested ā‚¬500 million to strengthen food systems in the form of national allocations to directly support farmers most affected by rising production costs including smallholder farmers.

What impact will the multidisciplinary approach of short- and medium-term actions to increase food security have on SMEs? How can SMEs maximise their potential to contribute to resilient and sustainable food systems and what is needed from decision and policy makers to ensure food security in the European Union?

This event will bring together decision- and policymakers, experts, and stakeholders to discuss the importance of resilient food systems from the viewpoint of SMEs and their implications for unlocking innovation in science and business to contribute to the transformation and adaptation of the food system to secure future resilience and thus provide food security.

  • Welcome & Moderation

    Dr. Horst HEITZ

    Chair of the Steering Committee at SME Connect

  • Opening & Closing Remarks

    Herbert DORFMANN MEP

    Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

    SME Connect Board Member

  • Keynote

    Daniel BUDA MEP

    Vice-Chair Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

    Dr. Alan BELWARD

    Head of Unit Food Security (JRC.D.5) at the European Commission

  • Debate

    William SURMAN

    Director of Strategic Communications, Public Affairs and ESG at FoodDrinkEurope

    Andrea COLAFRANCESCHI

    EU Project Officer at ILSI Europe

    Antoine D'HAESE
    EU Project Manager at Safe Food Advocacy

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