The European Commission launched a new Farm to Fork strategy in an effort to reduce the social and environmental impact of the European food system. It is the newest strategy under the European Green Deal, setting sustainability targets for farmers, consumers, and policymakers.
“Farmers are under extreme pressure,” Stefan de Keersmaeker, European Commission Spokesperson for Public Health and Food Safety, tells Food Tank. “But our environment and health are under pressure.”
The strategy aims to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 50 percent, increase the proportion of land used for organic farming to 25 percent, and reduce nutrient loss by 50 percent before 2030. It is also working to tackle food waste, loss of biodiversity, and unfair wages in the food chain.
Olivier de Schutter, Co-Chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, explains on Food Tank Live that the strategy comes after calls for a single, integrated food policy framework. After three years of advocacy, a coalition of more than 250 European organizations persuaded the newly-elected European Commission to consolidate existing agricultural, health, trade, and environmental policies.
To achieve its goals, the European Commission plans to reformulate the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which provides funding for farmers and rural development. The revised CAP will create eco-schemes to support farmers engaging in sustainable agricultural practices. This new system will reward precision agriculture, agroecology, carbon farming, and agroforestry, amongst other practices.