The European Alliance on Agricultural knowledge for Development

20 May 2020. The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the Green Deal. It addresses comprehensively the challenges of sustainable food systems and recognises the inextricable links between healthy people, healthy societies and a healthy planet. The strategy is also central to the Commission’s agenda to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All citizens and operators across value chains, in the EU and elsewhere, should benefit from a just transition, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn.

The COVID-19 pandemic 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 is clear that we need to do much more to keep ourselves and the planet healthy. The current pandemic is just one example. 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 Farm to Fork Strategy is a new comprehensive approach to how Europeans value food sustainability. It is an opportunity to improve lifestyles, health, and the environment. The creation of a favourable food environment that makes it easier to choose healthy and sustainable diets will benefit consumers’ health and quality of life, and reduce health-related costs for society. People pay increasing attention to environmental, health, social and ethical issues3 and they seek value in food more than ever before. Even as societies become more urbanised, they want to feel closer to their food. They want food that is fresh, less processed and sustainably sourced. And the calls for shorter supply chains have intensified during the current outbreak. Consumers should be empowered to choose sustainable food and all actors in the food chain should see this as their responsibility and opportunity.

“Making nature healthy again is key to our physical and mental wellbeing and is an ally in the fight against climate change and disease outbreaks. It is at the heart of our growth strategy, the European Green Deal, and is part of a European recovery that gives more back to the planet than it takes away.” Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
“The coronavirus crisis has shown how vulnerable we all are, and how important it is to restore the balance between human activity and nature. At the heart of the Green Deal the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies point to a new and better balance of nature, food systems and biodiversity; to protect our people’s health and well-being, and at the same time to increase the EU’s competitiveness and resilience. These strategies are a crucial part of the great transition we are embarking upon.” Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission

References:

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system
Brussels, 20.5.2020 COM(2020) 381 final, 23 pages

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Source: PAEPARD FEED