The current food model has a considerable impact on the environment and consumer health.
Approximately one third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food systems, according to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
This model also has a detrimental effect on people’s health (more than 50% of European adults are overweight).
This is why the European Commission published the Farm to Fork Strategy in May 2020 as one of the key initiatives in the framework of the European Green Pact.
Aims of the Strategy “Farm to Fork”
The main aims of this strategy are:
- ensuring that food is sufficient, affordable and nutritious, without exceeding planetary limits;
- reducing by half the use of pesticides and fertilizers and the sale of antimicrobials;
- increasing the amount of land devoted to organic farming;
- promoting more sustainable food consumption and healthy diets;
- reducing food loss and waste;
- fighting food fraud in the supply chain;
- improving animal welfare.
Proposals and initiatives of the Strategy “Farm to Fork”
In order to achieve these objectives, the Commission envisages a series of initiatives and proposals.
- Actions to ensure sustainable food production
- Decarbonization of the food chain with certification systems for carbon sequestration in agriculture and forestry.
- Apply the principles of circular economy to farms: biofertilizers, bioenergy, etc.
- Demand a reduction in the use of chemical pesticides and excess nutrients, to reduce soil, water, and air pollution and biodiversity loss.
- Establish seed security and diversity measures, with varieties adapted to climate change, ensuring easier market access for traditional and locally adapted varieties.
- Promoting organic farming.
- Providing an important source of funding to drive sustainable practices.
- Actions to ensure food security
- Development of a contingency plan to ensure food supply and food security in times of crisis.
- Promote high standards of safety and quality, plant health, animal health and welfare.
- Actions to promote sustainable food consumption
- Proposal for harmonized mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labeling to enable citizens to make informed healthy food choices.
- Proposal for a sustainable food labeling framework to enable consumers to choose sustainable foods.
- Access to sufficient, nutritious and sustainable food for everyone.
- Actions to reduce food loss and waste
- Proposed EU-wide targets to reduce food waste.
- Revision of EU rules on the indication of dates (“expiration” and “best-before” dates)
- Actions to promote the global transition
- International cooperation to support developing countries in their transition to sustainable food systems.
- Evaluate requests for import tolerances for pesticide substances that are no longer approved in the EU.
- Promotion of appropriate labeling systems to ensure that food imported into the EU is gradually being produced in a sustainable manner.
The European Green Pact is an opportunity to reconcile the food system with the needs of the planet and to respond positively to the needs for healthy, equitable and environmentally friendly food.
In our Master in International Agribusiness Management we have a module focused on the sustainability of the sector and the challenges and solutions that agribusinesses must face.