Increase overall transparency of processed agri-food products
In recent years, EU-China trade relations have grown very fast and agriculture has become an important sector for EU imports from and exports to China. However, many trade barriers relating to safety issues, standardisation and traceability (including fraud) in agri-food products persist and hamper trade predictability. In addition, there is a need to contribute to the prevention of major food safety crisis throughout the whole food chain, to meet consumer expectations for international standards and ensure the authenticity of high quality products such as those covered by Geographical Indications (GIs). Implementing food-safety management systems along the food chain is key to creating better overall framework conditions for innovation, in particular fostering marketing of innovative products and new technologies.
Proposals will contribute to the development of food-safety management systems for processed agri-food products that will enhance the overall transparency of the food chain. The complex issue of the supply chain for packaging (including the origin of raw material) will be dedicated specific attention. The traceability concept will also be subject to further analysis as its correct worldwide application is key to preventing the spread of food safety risk in a crisis and an important tool in overall GI policy. Proposals should develop specific models, tools, technologies and testing methods based on risk analysis to be implemented eventually by agri-food manufacturers and agri-food operators in Europe and China. Proposals should deliver a good-practice guide supporting better food safety management systems and implement demonstration and pilot activities in key sectors. Exchange and convergence of best practices between the EU and China, training of experts and cooperation between laboratories to ensure equal performances of laboratories to facilitate the harmonisation of food safety standards will be essential. Proposals are expected to produce feasibility studies for a sustainable EU-China joint laboratory that will aim to ensure compliance with the limits established by the standards in accordance with harmonised testing procedures. Proposals will look at production sectors in which the work is likely to have the greatest impact in terms both of potential risks and commercial value, such as wines and spirits, dairy products, processed meat and fruit and vegetables.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed properly. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Contributions for Chinese partners will come in addition and will be made available by China.
- contribute to the development of a common EU-China vision of global food safety issues that will increase trade and improve trade predictability in key production areas;
- increase consumer confidence in processed agri-food products traded between the EU and China and in domestic markets;
- improve the transparency of the food chain and manufacturers' sense of responsibility, in particular as regards processed agri-food products
- reduce human health risks linked to food processing and packaging;
- improve traceability tools along the food and feed chains; and
- increase EU-China cooperation at technical and scientific levels.