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Linking sustainable practices throughout Europe

International workshop 2014: "Local Food Matters - finding the good balance between hygiene rules, small-scale production and quality"

Legislative framework and options for implementation - Introductory remarks

JPEG There is a growing interest of farmers and consumers in local food. Also the European Union is promoting local food systems. EU legislation on hygiene rules, which is also implemented in accession countries, has already led to the closing of small diaries and slaughter houses in many regions. Ever growing investment costs demanded as a pre-requisite to meet hygienic standards for on farm food processing are pushing more and more farmers of local food out of production. This process is accelerating and severely counteracts the growing claim for local high quality food.

The implementation of existing EU legislation on hygiene rules has created so far very heterogenic implementation on the ground. It is designed primarily for industrial food processing. But in fact it leaves a considerable margin of manoeuvre for the national, regional and local food authorities. So local food production can be dealt with in a proportionate way! However in most Member States and Accession countries of the EU this flexibility is rarely applied thus forcing many producers of traditional quality food out of business.

International workshop: "Local Food Matters - finding the good balance between hygiene rules, small-scale production and quality"

See the conclusions at the end!

This 3 days workshop has brought together farmers, consumers, processors, civil society organisations, food administrations and responsible staff from the European Commission. It took place in Macedonia in the heart of the Western Balkan region so we analyse potential threats and opportunities for local and sustainable food systems in a region which is preparing for accession.
We organised field visits, exchange of good practices and held panels on good administrative and legislative practice.

When: 20-22 March 2014

Where: Trnovo, Bitola, Macedonia

co-organised by Forum Synergies and Slow Food Bitola
in cooperation with PREPARE, Terra Madre Balkan, The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group South Eastern Europe (SWG) and the Essedra project.

Programme and final statement: