European Commission adopts new Farm to Fork Strategy

Posted: 21 May 2020 | | No comments yet

Originally scheduled for March 2020, the newly published Farm to Fork Strategy has set out targets designed to ensure a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system, including a 50 percent reduction in the use and risk of pesticides.

European Commission adopts new Farm to Fork Strategy

The European Commission has adopted its new Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system. The Strategy is said to be reinforced by the newly published Biodiversity Strategy, designed to collectively bring together nature, farmers, business and consumers for jointly working towards a competitively sustainable future.

The Strategy was originally scheduled to be published in March 2020, but due to complications caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it was delayed until “at last mid-May.” In the weeks since its delay announcement, organisations and advocacy groups have urged for the Strategy to be prioritised and to include a set of key factors to support the overall development of the European food system. 

Now, in line with the European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork Strategy has proposed EU actions and commitments to transform food systems into global standards for competitive sustainability, the protection of human and planetary health, as well as the livelihoods of all actors in the food value chain.

The Farm to Fork Strategy aims to enable the transition to a sustainable EU food system that safeguards food security and ensures access to healthy diets sourced from a healthy planet. It is designed to reduce the environmental and climate footprint of the EU food system and strengthen its resilience, protecting citizens’ health and ensuring the livelihoods of economic operators.

The strategy has set targets to transform the EUs food system, including:

  • 50 percent reduction of the use and risk of pesticides
  • 20 percent reduction of the use of fertilisers
  • 50 percent reduction in sales of antimicrobials used for farmed animals and aquaculture
  • 25 percent of agricultural land used for organic farming.

It has also proposed measures to ensure that the healthy option is the easiest for EU citizens, including improved labelling to better meet consumers’ information needs on healthy, sustainable foods.

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, said: “The coronavirus crisis has shown how vulnerable we all are, and how important it is to restore the balance between human activity and nature. At the heart of the Green Deal, the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies point to a new and better balance of nature, food systems and biodiversity; to protect our people’s health and well-being, and at the same time to increase the EU’s competitiveness and resilience. These strategies are a crucial part of the great transition we are embarking upon.”

“We must move forward and make the EU’s food system a driving force for sustainability. The Farm to Fork Strategy will make a positive difference across the board in how we produce, buy and consume our food that will benefit the health of our citizens, societies and the environment. It offers the opportunity to reconcile our food systems with our planet’s health, to ensure food security and meet the aspirations of Europeans for healthy, equitable and eco-friendly food,” added Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food safety.

The Commission has invited the European Parliament and the Council to endorse the two strategies and its commitments. All citizens and stakeholders have also been invited to engage in a broad public debate.

A Question and Answer (Q&A) regarding the Farm to Fork Strategy can be found here.