Europe’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies
On 20 May the European Commission released its Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, both part of the European Green Deal.
The EC states that the Farm to Fork Strategy aims to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly – “Food systems cannot be resilient to crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic if they are not sustainable. We need to redesign our food systems which today account for nearly one-third of global GHG emissions, consume large amounts of natural resources, result in biodiversity loss and negative health impacts (due to both under- and over-nutrition) and do not allow fair economic returns and livelihoods for all actors, in particular for primary producers.”
The statement says that putting our food systems on a sustainable path also brings new opportunities for operators in the food value chain. New technologies and scientific discoveries, combined with increasing public awareness and demand for sustainable food, will benefit all stakeholders.
Regarding the EU supply sector and promoting fair trade, the strategy sets out both regulatory and non-regulatory initiatives, with the common agricultural and fisheries policies as key tools to support a just transition. A proposal for a legislative framework for sustainable food systems will be put forward to support implementation of the strategy and development of sustainable food policy. Taking stock of learning from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission will also develop a contingency plan for ensuring food supply and food security. The EU will support the global transition to sustainable agri-food systems through its trade policies and international cooperation instruments.
The new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and associated Action Plan comprise a “comprehensive, ambitious, long-term plan for protecting nature and reversing the degradation of ecosystems”. In the post-Covid context, the Biodiversity Strategy aims to build societies’ resilience to future threats such as climate change impacts, forest fires, food insecurity or disease outbreaks, including by protecting wildlife and fighting illegal wildlife trade. A core part of the European Green Deal, the Biodiversity Strategy will also support a green recovery following the pandemic.