AREPO salutes the broad endorsement received by the Intergroup on Wines, Spirits and Quality Foodstuffs, with declarations of support from close to 100 MEPs. Thus, AREPO calls for MEPs from all political groups to vote in favour of its re-establishment during this week voting procedure.
This historic Intergroup has been an instrumental platform for the exchange of good practices and the elaboration of policy recommendations concerning EU quality policy, assuring a direct channel between stakeholders and the European Parliament. This role is even more important in the present political context, with the ongoing negotiation on the Common Agricultural Policy post 2020 and the evaluation process of the EU quality policy.
Quality policy is a major pillar of the European sustainable food system. The quality and diversity of the Union’s agricultural, fisheries and aquaculture production are one of its important strengths, giving a competitive advantage to the Union’s producers and making a major contribution to its living cultural and gastronomic heritage. Localized agri-food systems (LAFS) are a relevant part of the EU agri-food system. Thanks to their characteristics and qualities, LAFS offer interesting opportunities in supporting rural development strategies able to include family farmers, small and medium enterprises operating in other stages of food supply chains, and other small firms operating in connected activities like the rural tourism ones.
EU Quality policy, through protected GIs, brings added value to LAFS and is able to contribute to and complement rural development policy as well as market and income support policies of the CAP. Nevertheless, its enormous potential is still underutilized in the EU. For this reason, the Intergroup can play a fundamental role, bringing the attention of policy makers to define and implement the appropriate measures to fully develop this potential.