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May 13, 2002

EU: Fischler and Byrne conclude final round table on agriculture and food

Today (Monday) EU Commissioners David Byrne for Health and Consumer Protection and Franz Fischler for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries concluded a year-long process of strategic dialogue on agriculture and food policy in Europe. At the final Round Table on Agriculture and Food in Brussels, both Commissioners summarised the issues discussed over the past year and, with the assistance of a distinguished panel of international experts, presented a range of ideas that would assist the development of agriculture and food policy in the years ahead.

Today (Monday) EU Commissioners David Byrne for Health and Consumer Protection and Franz Fischler for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries concluded a year-long process of strategic dialogue on agriculture and food policy in Europe.

At the final Round Table on Agriculture and Food in Brussels, both Commissioners summarised the issues discussed over the past year and, with the assistance of a distinguished panel of international experts, presented a range of ideas that would assist the development of agriculture and food policy in the years ahead.

“Developing an integrated approach to quality at all the stages of farming and of food production and a consumer focus on quality were the over-arching themes of our year long dialogue. The challenge for us is now to turn that into policy, legislation and reality,” Byrne and Fischler commented.

Clearly the lessons learned from the Round Table process will feed into policy reorientation in the field of agriculture, food policy and in the way stakeholder information and consultation is dealt with, the EU Commission said. Concretely, suggestions could be considered in the perspective of the Mid-Term Review of the Common Agricultural Policy, the Rural Development Policies and the implementation of the White Paper on Food Safety.

“Clear and unambiguous consumer information are essential to informed consumer choice and this message came across very clearly during our Round Tables. Policy and legislation will be developed to give effect to this clear consumer message. Quality and value for money should go hand in hand,” said David Byrne, Consumer Commissioner.

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