Directeur général  QU Dongyu

FAO and EU work together to prevent transboundary animal diseases and reduce food loss and waste

5 June 2020, Rome – FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, and the European Union Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, today discussed ways to strengthen collaboration on a number of issues, including the prevention of transboundary animal diseases and reducing food loss and waste.

The virtual meeting was the first between the Director-General and the EU Commissioner and reinforced the mutual interest for strong collaboration between FAO and the EU.

Qu stressed the need to develop vaccines to prevent the spread of animal diseases, citing the Bird Flu experience as an example to follow. He also requested more support from the EU to help reduce food loss, in Africa, as well as in small island developing states and in landlocked developing countries.

The Director-General noted that innovation and technology were critical for making food production more sustainable and environmentally friendly, stressing the need to reduce the use of pesticides and insecticides.

Ms Kyriakides commended FAO’s contribution to the EU funded platform for Food Waste. She also said the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy was central to building sustainable food systems.

FAO and the EU are already working together on tackling the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on farms and in food systems, on global efforts to wipe out Foot-and-Mouth disease and on related issues regarding agriculture and food systems. 

The Director-General thanked the Commissioner for the EU’s collaboration on the International Plant Protection Convention and Codex Alimentarius, which outlines international guidelines for food production and food safety. He also thanked the EU for their contribution to the International Year of Plant Health 2020.