Brussels News in Brief - May 2020

COVID-19 and food safety

The European Commission has produced a questions and answers document which aims to reassure citizens as well as guide small businesses in the food chain. The document complements national or international recommendations which are cross-referenced. 

View the document on the European Commission website 

COVID-19: emergency measures to help EU farmers and fishermen

The European Parliament and the Council adopted new rules intended to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the fishery and aquaculture sector. The new rules amend the regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) as well as the regulation on the Common Organisation of the Markets (CMO). More information on these emergency measures can be found on the European Parliament website 

COVID-19: Market Advisory Council members exchange views with DG MARE

The EU Market Advisory Council (MAC) continues to have a productive dialogue with DG MARE A.4’s Unit (Economic Analysis, Markets and Impact Assessment) on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Please contact us if you have specific market information or policy proposals that you wish to communicate to the group. Email

More information on the MAC can be found on their website 

Food waste prevention initiatives during the COVID-19 crisis 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis that is putting governments, businesses, people and the economy, under severe pressure. While the focus is on protecting public health, the food supply chain is also impacted. In some sectors measures taken may lead to increased food waste.

The EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste has published a newsletter focused on food loss and waste prevention actions taken by its members in the different EU Member States, in the context of this unprecedented crisis. 

Read the latest newsletter 

EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands agree to better monitor and control pelagic fish stocks

The European Union, Norway and the Faroe Islands reached a coastal states agreement for the monitoring, control and surveillance (MSC) of shared pelagic stocks fisheries in the North-East Atlantic (mackerel, horse mackerel, blue whiting and herring) late last month. 

For more information on the agreement visit the EU website

Evaluation of EU legislation on irradiation of food

Food irradiation is a decontaminating process which can be used to kill pathogenic bacteria that causes food poisoning. The Commission has launched a public consultation to collect information, views and experiences on the application of EU legislation on the irradiation of food and food ingredients. The Commission will use information collected through this consultation to evaluate the EU regulatory framework for irradiation of food.

For more on the consultation visit the EU website