Understanding consumer demands and their evolving needs is a constant challenge for the food and drink industry. Manufacturers strive to produce and supply products that consumers not only want and need but also accept, while taking into account Europe’s rich cultural diversity.
Through constant research and development (R&D) and innovation individual companies can address the ever-changing demands of their consumers for newer, more innovative and functional foods to suit their lifestyles. Research benefits companies and provides a source of competitive advantage, benefiting entire product categories and sectors which is in consumers’ best interests.
Through rigorous scientific research, Europe’s food and drink industry is contributing to a more complete understanding of nutrition and ultimately better-informed public policy.
To address major societal challenges, the European Commission has suggested an enhanced cooperation in European research and development. The “Joint Programming Initiative - A healthy diet for a healthy life” provides a roadmap for harmonized and structured research efforts in the area of food, nutrition, health and physical activity. The European Commission also coordinates the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) which is designed to support a wide range of projects on European research and innovation. In specific, the “Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology” research theme under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) aims to build a “European Knowledge Based Bio-Economy” (KBBE). More information is available at http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/home_en.html
The next tabs in this section provide a flavour of the actions FoodDrinkEurope and its members are undertaking on a voluntary basis to support research and innovation.