EFFAT European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions; it also represents domestic workers. 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 in relation to European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. It covers three sectors: Food and Drink workers; Agriculture, safeguarding employment and fair pay in rural areas; and hotel, restaurant and catering workers in the Tourism sector.

The role and importance of this trade union association are obvious and we should underline their extraordinary level of commitment to sustainable development. It should be remembered that in many European countries their working conditions are close to slavery.

EFFAT has committed itself to defending the sustainable development goals and in particular the bioeconomy in favour of the fight against climate change. With the project “The bioeconomy and a future bio-based food industry and agriculture sector: how can workers’ organisations shape the change?” EFFAT wishes to reflect on the challenges and the opportunities of bioeconomy for their own sectors.

Two workshops have been held already on this subject. The first (9-10 October 2018 in Copenhagen) discussed and investigated the issues of food security, use of resources and climate, the environment and human health.

The second workshop took place in Venice on 28-29 March 2019 and focused on the themes of education, training and skills.

A final conference is scheduled in October 2019 in Belgium where a final report, together with recommendations to different stakeholders, will be presented.


The basic demands of food workers – for employment security, a safe working environment, for trade union rights – can and must be linked to a wider programme for transforming the food system and tackling climate change. By organizing and gaining rights for themselves and pushing for a shift to sustainable, low-input, less fossil-fuel dependent systems of crop production and processing, workers can help protect the planet.


No consideration at all of the soil and its importance for life and for survival.