Monday, 6th February 2012
EU must overhaul fisheries eco-labelling, CFP rapporteur will say
A key report on the future of European fisheries markets will call on the European Commission to establish a new higher standard for eco-labelling across all fisheries products sold in the EU.
In an address this Wednesday to a high level conference, ‘Shaping the future of the Common Fisheries Policy’, the report’s author Struan Stevenson MEP will tell delegates, including EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, that he will recommend the industry should sweep away the many differing and confusing eco-labels currently used and set a standard that consumers and the industry can more easily recognise and understand.
Commenting ahead of the speech, Struan Stevenson, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Common Market Organisation (CMO) of fisheries and aquaculture said:
“Following extensive consultation with industry stakeholders, my report on CMO reform involves a host of measures to improve fisheries markets, ranging from measures on producer organisations to the question of discards.
“In addition, I have come to the conclusion that providing consumers with clear, easily understood information on fisheries and aquaculture products is absolutely essential. We must sweep away the many differing and confusing eco-labels that have emerged over the years, all making competing claims about the sustainability of catches and the eco-friendliness of their products.
“Until that happens, I will recommend that the European Commission should establish minimum rules for a voluntary EU eco-label, setting the bar at a higher level than the mandatory rules and regulations that govern the sector just now. I would even suggest extending this voluntary label to companies outside the EU exporting to our markets to ensure there is a level playing field.
“The on-going programme of CFP reform is a great opportunity to ensure that in future eco-labelling contributes fully to sustainability in a meaningful way for industry and consumers alike.”
These recommendations, contained in the draft report on the Common Market Organisation, will be submitted for consideration to the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee in March. If formally agreed by the Committee, they will form the basis of the European Parliament’s position on a crucial aspect of the Common Fisheries Policy reform package, unveiled by The EU Fisheries Commissioner in July 2011.
Those wishing to comment on the draft CMO report can visit: http://www.struanstevenson.com/parliamentary-work/report/CMO_Reform/. Responses to the report should be emailed to email@example.com before Friday 16 February 2012.
Notes to the editor
1. Struan Stevenson is a Conservative MEP for Scotland and Senior Vice-President of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee.
2. He has been appointed by the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee as its rapporteur on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture.
3. Struan Stevenson will deliver the address on his CMO report at an ALDE High Level Conference in Brussels on Wednesday 8 February.
4. For further information, please contact:
Tel: 0131 554 1146
Mob: 07766 166 637
Monday 6 February 2012