A 24-point plan produced by a UK MEP to grow Europe’s horticulture sector and reduce food waste is to get its first public airing in the European Parliament next week.
The report states it is “deeply concerning” that as much as a third of edible produce is wasted because of its appearance, and urges the European Commission “to create possibilities for marketing a wider range of quality specifications of produce”.
It also calls on the EC to reassess the current restrictions on the use of some neonicotinoid pesticides, and to ensure adequate seasonal labour provision for horticulture producers.
The report was put together by Anthea McIntyre, member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands, who sits on the EP’s committee for agriculture and rural development. It received input from the UK horticulture supply chain, Defra and the National Farmers Union, and will be considered in the European Parliament on 5 November.
Europe’s horticultural sector made significant contributions to the economy, jobs and food security, but needed continued innovation underpinned by strong R&D, said McIntyre.