EU Farm to Fork Strategy published
The European Union’s Farm to Fork Strategy was published on 20 May. The EU notes that the Stratgy is being launched in the context of the coronavirus crisis, which “has underlined the importance of a robust and resilient food system that functions in all circumstances, and is capable of ensuring access to a sufficient supply of affordable food for citizens. It has also made us acutely aware of the interrelations between our health, ecosystems, supply chains, consumption patterns and planetary boundaries.” It also notes that the increasing recurrence of droughts, floods, forest fires and new pests are a constant reminder that our food system is under threat and must become more sustainable and resilient.
The Strategy’s targets are:
- a reduction by 50% of the use and risk of chemical pesticides and the use of more hazardous pesticides by 50% by 2030
- a reduction of nutrient losses by at least 50% while ensuring that there is no deterioration in soil fertility – this will reduce the use of fertilisers by at least 20% by 2030
- a reduction by 50% of the sales of antimicrobials for farmed animals and in aquaculture by 2030
- reaching 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030.
The Commission will take a number of steps, including revising the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive, enhance provisions on integrated pest management (IPM) and promote greater use of safe alternative ways of protecting harvests from pests and diseases. The Commission will also facilitate the placing on the market of pesticides containing biological active substances and reinforce the environmental risk assessment of pesticides, and will develop further indicators and propose changes to the 2009 Regulation concerning statistics on pesticides. The Commission will also put forward an Action Plan on organic farming, which will help Member States stimulate both supply and demand for organic products.