The demand, consumption patterns, consumers’ engagement and perceptions of food are changing and diversifying. A growing part of consumers become more interested in how their food is grown, processed and brought to market. The consumption of meat and dairy products per capita is decreasing in most European countries, with differences according to countries and species. This consumption may decrease even more as a consequence of the development of radically new technologies (e.g. cultured or vegetable “meat”, vegetable “milk”, insects…) as affordable alternatives and new consumption patterns (e.g. flexitarism…). Besides a main stream, we see an increasing segmentation of the market.
While safety issues remain a priority, the market needs products with new characteristics/qualities and products better suiting the requirements of specific populations (pregnant women, young children, seniors, people experiencing intolerances or allergies…). Beyond the nutritional and organoleptic qualities (“intrinsic value of food”), other criterion such as environmental footprint, animal welfare or the production of public goods (open landscape, image of naturalness…) are determining consumption choices. This is also called the “extrinsic value of food”. Facing such new challenges and the necessity of attain added value from the export of animal products, food processing companies are now starting to develop husbandry guidelines for the supply chain.
More than ever, a greater focus on animal derived food integrity (safety, authenticity and quality of products, but also their extrinsic value) is needed to secure Europe’s role as a leading global provider for safe and healthy animal derived products and help European food systems earn consumer trust. New efforts will require highly inter- and trans-disciplinary cooperation, systems and multi-actor approaches and major contribution by social sciences and humanities to find new tools and innovations along the food chain to improve quality and sustainability of the food systems, understand consumption patterns and consumer preferences.
Taking stock of the preparation of EC-FOOD2030 strategy, during the year 2017, the Animal Task Force engaged a dialogue between farmers, industries, stakeholders from the primary sector and from the food chain, along with decision makers, scientists and citizens to provide input for public policies and contribute to dialogie and communication in order to support the construction of animal-derived food integrity.
2 events were organised in 2017:
The 5th ATF-EAAP special session in Tallinn, Estonia - Aug.28th
ATF 7th seminar in Brussels, Belgium - Oct. 26th
Below, you will find the documents related to both events.