The strategy aims to halt the decline of pollinators whilst making the EU’s food system robust and sustainable—all by 2030.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how an unhealthy diet can become a life sentence and how access to food is vital in times of crisis. We need this legislation now more than ever. It will protect our pollinators, enhance our food-system’s resilience whilst promoting healthier diets and organic farming methods.
The “farm to fork” strategy forms part of the European Green New Deal and has zealous targets:
Announced today May 20th 2020 on World Bee Day, the EU Commission aims to:
- Reduce the overall use and risk of chemical and hazardous pesticides by 50%
- Reduce the sales of antimicrobials for farmed animals and aquaculture by 50%
- Increase organic farmed land by 25%
“The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the Green Deal. It addresses comprehensively the challenges of sustainable food systems and recognises the inextricable links between healthy people, healthy societies and a healthy planet.”
The strategy is comprehensive. Detailing the targets, the data collection methods and the EU’s R&I budget. Here some points we found worth noting:
- Horizon Europe allocates €10 billion for R&I “on food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and the environment as well as the use of digital technologies and nature-based solutions for agri-food.”
- Through EU budget guarantees, the InvestEU Fund41 will foster investment in the agro-food sector by de-risking investments by European corporations and facilitating access to finance for SMEs and mid-cap42 companies.
- An example of a new green business model is carbon sequestration by farmers and foresters. Farming practices that remove CO2 from the atmosphere contribute to the climate neutrality objective and should be rewarded, either via the common agricultural policy (CAP) or other public or private initiatives (carbon market10).
- The Commission will take additional action to reduce the overall use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% and the use of more hazardous pesticides13 by 50% by 2030.
- The Commission will develop with Member States an integrated nutrient management action plan to address nutrient pollution at source and increase the sustainability of the livestock sector.
- To empower consumers to make informed, healthy and sustainable food choices, the Commission will propose harmonised mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling and will consider to propose the extension of mandatory origin or provenance indications to certain products, while fully taking into account impacts on the single market.
- To improve the availability and price of sustainable food and to promote healthy and sustainable diets in institutional catering, the Commission will determine the best way of setting minimum mandatory criteria for sustainable food procurement. This will help cities, regions and public authorities to play their part by sourcing sustainable food for schools, hospitals and public institutions and it will also boost sustainable farming systems, such as organic farming.
- The circular bio-based economy is still a largely untapped potential for farmers and their cooperatives. For example, advanced bio-refineries that produce bio-fertilisers, protein feed, bioenergy, and bio-chemicals offer opportunities for the transition to a climate-neutral European economy and the creation of new jobs in primary production.
- The Commission will propose legislation to convert its Farm Accountancy Data Network
into the Farm Sustainability Data Network with a view to also collect data on the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies’ targets and other sustainability indicators.