European agriculture commissioner Franz Fisher explained last week that quality standards for taste and agricultural production methods would have to be introduced to answer demands from consumers across the EU.

Speaking at the agriculture and food round table in Greece, Fischler explained: “We must ensure that we know what is expected from a modern agricultural production sector [and] that we deliver in the future quality to everyone and not only to a few who can afford it.”

Fischer added that in order to achieve sustainable agriculture “we need to embrace innovation”, and he explained that the term should not “be confused with a return to 19th century methods, or simply the creation of niche markets”.

“Research and universities,” he said, “have a vital role to play in developing forms of agriculture, which are both sustainable in terms of land use and economically viable.”

“We must provide the framework for quality products to be produced and sold in all confidence,” he urged delegates, pointing out that to avoid the creation of niche markets, all consumers must have real value for money.