Skip to main content
Food Safety
News article6 March 2024Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety1 min read

EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices

In July 2021, the EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices was launched, as one of the first deliverables of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy. It is a voluntary initiative by the “middle actors “ of the food chain – food manufacturers, wholesale and retail, hospitality and food services - to accelerate the shift towards a sustainable food system.

Two years after its launch, the number of signatories of the Code has doubled. Today the Code counts 141 signatories, both individual companies, associations as well as collaborative supporters. In order to better understand the type of commitments that signatories pledge and analyse the reports that they submit annually, a comprehensive study on the Code is commissioned every year by the European Commission and conducted by Ipsos.

The 2023 final report of this study illustrates 524 commitments made by companies, focusing mainly on the Code aspirational objectives 3 and 4, indicating a commitment to a climate-neutral food chain and a resource-efficient food chain respectively. Also commitments in the area of sustainable sourcing (objective 7) and healthy, balanced and sustainable diets (objective 1) are very prominent. Associations fully endorse the Code as well, with some committing to sector-specific tools and best practices sharing.

A comparative literature review emphasises the uniqueness of the Code, particularly in terms of having a broad scope and providing a high degree of flexibility, and provides insights in areas for potential improvement. Despite positive trends some challenges remain calling for increased engagement from underrepresented regions and sectors and a renewed push for momentum.

For further information, please visit our "EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices" web page.


Publication date
6 March 2024
Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety