The Farm to Fork Strategy is a key component of the European Green Deal. The European Commission launched a Communication on the Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system on Wednesday 20thMay 2020. The Farm to Fork Strategy will seek to strengthen farmers and fishermen’s efforts to tackle climate change, protect the environment and preserve biodiversity. The Commission also announced a Communication on the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 on the same day.
The goal of the strategy is to change the way we produce and consume, without compromising on the safety, quality and affordability of food.
The Commission will consult extensively with producers and other food business operators, citizens, NGOs and other stakeholders to get the balance right, and with Member States for support to deliver it.
The Farm to Fork Strategy is part of the Commission European Green Deal which was announced on 11th December 2019 and is the Commission’s commitment to tackling climate change and environment-related challenges. An Action Plan (2020-2024) will be included as an Annex to the Strategy.
See IFA’s Submission on Farm to Fork strategy and COPA/COGECA’s submission to the Commission on 16th March 2020.
The European Green Deal is a new growth strategy that aims to achieve no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.
It aims to protect, conserve and enhance the EU’s natural capital, and protect the health and well-being of citizens from environment-related risks and impacts. At the same time the transition must be just and inclusive. It must put people first.
Target: Legislative initiative for a framework of sustainable food system before end of 2023
The Farm to Fork strategy seeks to change the focus on food production to a new focus on “food systems”.
This strategy will place most of the burden on farmers, fishers and aquaculture producers who have a pivotal role in making food systems sustainable.
The Commission will make incentives available through CAP to help transition to more sustainable practices;
The strategy will aim to reduce dependency on Pesticides and Antimicrobials and reduce the nutrient loss and the usage of Fertilisers – see Biodiversity Strategy 2030.
Increase organic farming, reverse biodiversity loss and support Sustainable Food Production.
In relation to animal production and animal welfare the Commission promises to improve animal welfare and in the review of funding for agriculture products, will focus on how to support the most sustainable, carbon-efficient methods of livestock production.
New Business Models – CO₂ removal from atmosphere will be rewarded through the CAP and/or public or private initiatives (carbon market).
Circular economy – Commission will develop a regulatory framework for certification of carbon removals
The CAP will carry most of burden of the Commission’s new strategy. Member States will have to ensure that Eco-schemes are appropriately resourced and implemented in their Strategic Plans.
The shift to sustainable fish and seafood production will be accelerated in the EU. The next Maritime and Fisheries Fund will significantly support sustainable seafood farming and the Commission will adopt guidelines to promote the right kind of expenditure under the Fund.
The EU will develop a code of conduct for responsible business and marketing practice to promote affordability and availability of healthy and sustainable food options
A shift to healthy sustainable diets will be promoted – reversing food consumption patterns and moving to a more plant-based diet with less red meat and processed meat and with more fruits and vegetables will reduce risks of life-threatening diseases and the environmental impact of the food system.
The Commission will tackle food loss and waste committing to halving per capita food waste at retail and consumer levels by 2030 (SDG 12.3).
Research and innovation will be accelerated and effective Agriculture Knowledge and innovation Systems (AKIS) involving all food chain actors will be promoted
Strategy Review: mid 2023 – in order to see if actions taken are sufficient or whether additional action is necessary
European Green Deal – Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans
Farm to Fork Strategy – Health & Food Safety: Commissioner Stella Kyriakides
Biodiversity Strategy 2030 – Environment, Oceans & Fisheries: Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius