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2 A year of achievements

A year of achievements

 

A busy year of achievements

2012 was a special year for FoodDrinkEurope as it marked our 30th anniversary as Europe’s food and drink manufacturing industry organisation.  It has also been a very busy year, with many new challenges and interesting opportunities for Europe’s food industry, which continues to grow and perform steadily despite the present difficult economic climate.    

In brief, if I were to define 2012 for FoodDrinkEurope, three words in particular spring to mind: engagement, visibility and adaptability.   

Engagement

In 2012 we focused particularly on finding new opportunities for collaboration with our current stakeholders, and on finding new partners and forming new alliances for the industry. Our Congress provided an opportunity to showcase some of these efforts but three examples are particularly worthy of note. 

The work with our Social Partners, EFFAT[1], to discuss issues of common interest for both the industry and its employees, has been very important.  Here, employees and food operators have joined forces to discuss issues of common interest.  Discussions on how to tackle obesity for example, and the impact of discriminatory fiscal measures on food in today’s tough economic times feature on our joint workplan, along with other issues such as the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and the launch of the EU funded project “matching skills and jobs”.

Similarly, FoodDrinkEurope has been actively working with its food chain partners in the establishment of a voluntary B2B framework for fairer supply chain relations. Given the sensitivity of these discussions for our members, FoodDrinkEurope has worked tirelessly on their behalf to feed into the development of a voluntary framework which should help engender fairer B2B relations in the food supply chain across the EU.  We hope that, in encouraging our members to sign up to this voluntary framework, this will help to improve commercial relations for all participating parties in future.  

There are many more examples as you will see in the subsequent pages of this 2012 Report. Joint activities with our stakeholders across the food chain contribute positively to our work in establishing food industry positions and to tackling some of the main challenges we face today.

Visibility

In 2012, we have stepped up external speaking opportunities; we have accompanied EU Commissioners on several important trade missions to other countries and we have greatly increased our active participation in numerous conferences and other events in and outside Europe.  We have also stepped up our engagement with the media through both traditional channels and new, social media tools. In 2012, direct media mentions of FoodDrinkEurope increased by 14% on 2011 figures and we expanded our online (web) presence by 20%.  Our Twitter profile also grew by a staggering 300% in the past year as more and more organisations, individuals and other stakeholders followed our work and sought to interact with us.  Indeed, we have never been as present in the media as we are today.

Adaptability

As ever, the EU decision-making process is extremely important for Europe’s food and drink industry. The nature and intensity of EU debates has changed, and as the detailled timeline of activities below indicates, FoodDrinkEurope has worked hard to ensure that the sector’s views are heard at all levels. 

In November the FoodDrinkEurope secretariat moved to new premises in Brussels. The move was a major undertaking, but certainly a huge success; our new offices are young, modern and energising, and proudly display the colours and style of the new FoodDrinkEurope name and brand.

Finally, a word of thanks…

I would like to thank our members who continue to provide us with expertise, key data and hands-on experience; without their active participation in the many working groups and committees of the organisation throughout the year, we would not be able to deliver the host of achievements described in this report.

A special thanks to FoodDrinkEurope’s staff for their continuing hard work, dedication, loyalty and good humour!    

I look forward to another exciting and successful year in 2013.  

Mella Frewen

Director General

 



[1] EFFAT: European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions

 

 

As on 31 March 2013