Key points of the Farm to Fork strategy

The European Green Deal (EGD) was unveiled by the European Commission in December 2019 and aims for Europe to become the first carbon-neutral continent. It is  a “new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use”.

The EGD comprises several strategies, including the Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy and the EU Biodiversity strategy, unveiled on 20 May 2020.

According to the F2F communication, the Farm to Fork strategy is at the heart of the European Green Deal. It “addresses the challenges of sustainable food systems in a comprehensive way, recognising the inextricable links between healthy people, healthy societies and a healthy planet”. The integrated approach of the F2F is mentioned several times.

The F2F strategy is composed of a main communication and an annex, serving as an action plan for the F2F strategy. The strategy recognizes that food systems are responsible for approximately 29% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and that nearly 70% of all agricultural GHG emissions come from the animal sector. It explicitly states that “there is an urgent need to reduce dependency on pesticides and antimicrobials, reduce the use of fertilisers, increase organic farming, improve animal welfare, and reverse biodiversity loss”. The F2F is meant to lead a global transition towards competitive sustainability from farm to fork.

The goals of the F2F are therefore to:

  • Ensure that food production, transport, distribution, marketing, and consumption have a neutral or positive environmental impact,
  • Preserve and restore the land and sea-based resources,
  • Mitigate climate change,
  • Reverse the loss of biodiversity,
  • Ensure food security, nutrition, and public health.

How to enable this transition in Europe and globally? The strategy states the following and further details this on pp 15-18 of the strategy:

  • The Commission has devised several R&I programmes and other funding mechanisms that support the objectives of the Green Deal,
  • The Commission will therefore set up effective Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS),
  • The Commission will ensure that tailored solutions help SMEs.

IFOAM EU’s members find a more detailed breakdown of what the Farm to Fork strategy puts forward on organic, the CAP, fertilisers, pesticides and much more on the IFOAM EU member extranet. For more information about IFOAM EU’s work on the Farm to Fork strategy, contact silvia.schmidt@ifoam-eu.org.

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