European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

Social partners call for climate change agreement to boost dialogue


While the global demand for food is set to rise, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that all aspects of food security - including food production and price stability - will be likely affected by climate change. In particular, agricultural production may be hampered by extreme weather conditions such as droughts and storms, which may affect the long-term supply of safe, high-quality and affordable raw materials.

This global challenge will have far-reaching implications for the competitiveness and sustainability of the food and drink sector, which is why European manufacturers are adapting to climate change and are addressing these challenges in conjuntion with trade unions and workers, supply chain partners, governments, civil society and academia.

This year will be a crucial one, as 196 countries meet in Paris to reach a new framework agreement on climate change. Europe is at a turning point, and the direction it will take also depends on the actions set out in the 2030 EU Climate and Energy Framework agreement. Meanwhile, EU policy makers have played a crucial role in highlighting the challenges and opportunities that will arise from the transition towards a green, low carbon, energy and resource-efficient economy.

FoodDrinkEurope and EFFAT are committed to address employment challenges in the EU, and to do so both organisations have recently issued a joint pledge on apprenticeships [1] and on industrial policies [2], while at the same time working on the new EU-funded project Bringing new talents and managing an ageing workforce.

Within this context, EU-level Social Partners, FoodDrinkEurope [3] and EFFAT [4], call upon governments to:

  • reach an agreement on a new global framework which will facilitate climate change adaptation while promoting a more sustainable and resilient food production system;
  • esablish a framework and skill policies in the labour market that will help the transition towards a green economy, thus creating decent jobs while looking after people who will be most affected by the changes;
  • strengthen the roles of employers, civil society, workers and their trade unions in implementing forms of sustainable development;
  • support less developed and financially weaker countries to build a green economy, in order to alleviate poverty and reach full and sustainable employment.

EFFAT and FoodDrinkEurope are leading organisations that represent food and drink industry workers and employers in the EU. The EU Social Dialogue Committee in the Food and Drink Industry between EFFAT and FoodDrinkEurope was officially launched on 23 January 2012.

1. FoodDrinkEurope EFFAT Apprenticeship pledge

2. FoodDrinkEurope EFFAT joint industrial policy statement

3. ‘A time to act’ – Climate action and the Food and Drink Industry

4. A more sustainable agriculture food and tourism system from farm to fork





EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.