A broadly composed group of 25 participants from the food value chain, researchers, government representatives, and voluntary organizations in the NewTools research project had a series of meetings on the 25th and 26th of October with the EU Commission, the Norwegian EU delegation, and the umbrella organizations for European consumer organizations (BEUC) and business organizations (Food and Drink Europe).
The purpose of the meetings was twofold, partly to receive information about important processes and development trends in the EU that could be of interest to the projects, and partly to inform about the NewTools project.
Representatives from the EU Commission participated from the EU's "Ministries" for health (DG Sante), environment (DG ENV), fisheries and aquaculture (DG Mare), and agriculture (DG Agri).
Key topics at the meeting included the EU's commitment to sustainable food (Farm to Fork), the new Green Claims regulations for "green claims" (and for environmental labels, etc.), and developments in organic farming and animal welfare. Of particular interest wss the ongoing work on a framework for a sustainable food system and for sustainability and health labeling directly on packaging (Front of Pack labeling). We also gained valuable insights into how Norway works within the EU system.
Although the NewTools project is intended for food consumed in Norway, initiatives from the EU are very important, both because about 80% of food imports to Norway come from EU countries and because a large part of EU regulations are implemented in Norway. In addition, it is important to learn from experiences in the EU, harmonize methods, and avoid duplication of work.
The meetings were highly productive. They provided a significant learning outcome for the participants and offered important input from the EU to the project's work.
NewTools is a project designed to make it easier for consumers to choose sustainable food. NewTools will develop scoring systems that provide information on nutrition and the climate and environmental footprint of food, ultimately making the food system more sustainable.
Read more about the NewTools project here: https://www.fhi.no/kl/studier/newtools/