EU’s new Farm to Fork Strategy a step towards developing a sustainable European food system
The Farm to Fork Strategy published by the European Commission on 20 May 2020 aims for an even fairer, healthier and more environmentally-friendly European food system. As shown by its title, the comprehensive strategy covers the whole food chain from primary production to consumption, and it should also serve as a model for developing a more sustainable global food system.
“In Finland we have for a long time worked for sustainable food production, including by reducing the use of antibiotics for farm animals. Now we also wish to promote the development of a sustainable food system in the whole EU. What is particularly noteworthy is that the strategy takes overall sustainability into account, and extends from seeds to food loss and waste,” Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä says.
By the strategy, the EU wants to increase environmentally-friendly farming practices and organic farming, reduce the use of plant protection products, fertilisers and antibiotics, improve consumer awareness of sustainable food choices, and reduce food loss and waste.
The objectives of the Farm to Fork Strategy will also be promoted through the common agricultural policy of the EU (CAP). However, it is important to coordinate the objectives in such a way that the key objectives of the CAP are duly accounted for.
“It is particularly important to take the different circumstances and conditions of the Member States into account in coordinating the CAP Strategic Plan and Farm to Fork Strategy. In our own preparations, we will hold on to our aim for a simpler and more strategic CAP,” Minister Leppä says.
Food security ensured in all conditions
The Farm to Fork Strategy also takes account of the risks to food security and food chain posed by the coronavirus pandemic. During 2021 the Commission will draw up a contingency plan to ensure food security in the EU in all crisis situations.
“The coronavirus pandemic has shown how important it is to have a crisis-resilient food system that covers the whole EU. Improving the security of supply in the food sector is in everyone’s interest. It is important to implement the strategy in such a way that both the EU’s own food production and the producers’ position in the food chain are strengthened. The profitability of agriculture must also be ensured because this is what the security of supply is based on,” Minister Leppä says.
On 20 May 2020, the European Commission also published its Biodiversity Strategy. The Biodiversity Strategy and Farm to Fork Strategy are both part of the European Green Deal.
See press release of the European Commission 20 May 2020. Reinforcing Europe's resilience: halting biodiversity loss and building a healthy and sustainable food system
Inquiries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:
Satu Haapaniemi, Special Adviser, tel. +358 2951 620 58
Kirsi Heinonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 2951 620 59
Kari Valonen, Head of EU Coordination and International Affairs, tel. +358 2951 620 47
Email addresses are in the format [email protected]