On Wednesday, September 8th, 2021, SME Connect organized a high-level webinar titled Sustainable Eating – How can we make the right food choices? stemming from the initiative of the Health and Nutrition Working Group.

The webinar was hosted by Christine Schneider MEP, ENVI & AGRI Committees, Shadow Rapporteur on the Farm to Fork Strategy and Chair of the Health and Nutrition WG. Among the speakers, Alexandra Nikolakopoulou, Head of Unit Farm to Fork Strategy, European Commission; Isabelle Maurizi, Head of Sustainability & Environment, EuroCommerce, and Dr. Grigoris Risvas, Honorary Vice-President, European Federation of the Association of Dieticians. The event was moderated by Dr. Horst Heitz, Chair of SME Connect’s Steering Committee. 

Christine Schneider MEP opened the floor by labelling the Farm to Fork Strategy “a roadmap for changing European food sustainability and empowering consumers to make healthy dietary choices” under the European Green Deal. Education and food labelling are the main tools at hand for consumers to be informed.

Keynote speaker Alexandra Nikolakopoulou remarked that the European Commission’s aim for Farm To Fork Strategy is to “make the sustainable choice the easy choice.” The Strategy will introduce a common definition of sustainability and help establish a horizontal legislative framework for policy within the sector.

Relating the perspective of the retail sector, Isabelle Maurizi detailed three major actions retailers can adopt: reformulating and making the offered products more sustainable, changing the store layout, and lastly, promoting healthy behaviours beyond food choices.  

Lastly, Dr Grigoris Risvas stressed the importance of the “local” when discussing sustainability; from local and seasonal food production to regionally specific recommended diets, geography plays a crucial role in the health of both people and planet. Ultimately, he stated, “The time to move to a more sustainable pattern is now” through individual action and coordinated policy changes.