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Identifying the lock-ins and barriers in EU food safety

Mar 23, 2023 | News

At the end of December, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety published the document that sets out its work programme for health and food audits and analysis for 2023. This is an important proposal that will inform the work of the BEATLES project, which seeks behavioural change in farming to achieve climate-smart outcomes, and where AEIDL leads the formulation of BEATLES` policy recommendations.  

This Directorate implements the Commission’s policies on food safety and public health and devotes most of its resources to controls. It monitors the implementation and enforcement of European Union (EU) legislation in the domains of food (areas of food and feed safety, animal health, animal welfare, plant health and EU quality standards) and health in particular certain areas of human health. 

The updated work programme presents the priorities for controls in 2021-2025 and the detailed activities planned for 2023. 

In 2023, the Directorate intends to perform 288 planned controls complemented by “on-demand” controls. In 2023, controls will continue mostly on priorities addressed in previous years:  Antimicrobial resistance (AMR); Animal welfare and Feed safety. The Directorate will assist Member States in further developing and implementing their national strategies and policies against antimicrobial resistance based on a One Health perspective. 

The Directorate will continue working on the other non-control activities. It will facilitate the development of recommendations addressed to EU Member States, the development of policy on the sustainable use of pesticides, networking activities with Member States, the management of the Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) programme and the input into the review or development of legislation in different areas or sectors, based on the outcome of its controls. 

The BEATLES project will follow up on the conclusions of the analyses carried out, as well as the recommendations of this Directorate. AEIDL is already deeply involved in carrying out the baseline research, alongside project partners, geared to identifying the individual, systemic and policy lock-ins and levers that influence entire food systems’ behavioural change and to develop transformation pathways of change to accelerate the transition to climate-smart agriculture fully aligned with EU ambitions.