Looking ahead: Europe’s soft drinks industry sets out 3 key ambitions for 2024-2029

The EU boasts more than 500 soft drinks production facilities – which produce the vast majority of drinks consumed in the EU – with the sector supporting more than 1.8m jobs throughout its value chain.

The past legislative term (2019-2024) has been marked by key legislative projects: The EU Green Deal, especially two of its key building blocks – the EU Circular Economy Action Plan and the EU Farm-to-Fork Strategy – which are aimed at creating long term changes to production and consumption.

Now, UNESDA is setting out its ‘wish-list’ for the legislative term ahead: identifying an ‘urgent need to build the necessary enablers to support this massive transformation’ from the above legislation.

And the industry also faces the wider global context of geopolitical tensions, inflationary pressures and supply chain challenges.

“While each legislative term brings changes, challenges and opportunities, this term may be the time to reflect on what has been achieved and the impact of existing measures, to assess methodologically what remains to be done, and to focus on targeted actions,” summarizes the manifesto.

The European Parliament – which acts as a co-legislator for the European Union – is made up of directly elected Members of the European Parliament (MEP). Voters will elect their MEPs​ in June 2024.

Ambition 1: ‘A more sustainable and competitive soft drinks sector’

UNESDA wants to support a transition to a more sustainable and healthier food system: but highlights this needs to be a smooth transition that does not impact on the competitiveness of businesses. To that end it wants the European Parliament to: