The European Committee of the Regions is currently drafting an opinion on Sustainable food systems in view of the forthcoming legislative proposal, expected to be published by the European Commission later this year.
Our rapporteur, Ms Joke Schauvliege (EPP/EPP) would like to gather the views of key stakeholders on this important topic.
Against the background of the food security, biodiversity and climate crisis, the Framework legislation on sustainable food systems will be aiming to:
- ensure policy coherence at EU and national level, mainstream sustainability in all food-related policies and strengthen the resilience of food systems;
- accelerate and facilitate the transition to sustainability and ensure that foods placed on the EU market increasingly become sustainable;
- lay down general principles, objectives, requirements and responsibilities of all actors in the EU food systems;
- put forward rules on governance and monitoring; sustainability labelling of food products and minimum criteria for sustainable public procurement of food.
A CoR own-initiative opinion is seeking to enable local and regional authorities to make a contribution to the design of the future legislative framework tailored to their needs and expectations.
More in particular, the working paper raises following questions:
- What role could local and regional authorities play in the transition towards sustainable food systems? What are the tools at the disposal of local and regional authorities?
- Did your regions initiate any projects in the field of sustainable food (food waste prevention, short supply chains, direct markets, food public procurement, etc.)? Are there any active agricultural research centres and agricultural training centres that teach farmers about sustainable agricultural production?
- Do you utilize any EU funds to support the deployment of more sustainable food systems?
- Do you have any administrative entity in your constituency that leads the work on sustainability, such as a food policy council? How it is articulated? Who is driving the policy development in this field?
- To what extent does each region take into account the fact that the ecological "foodprint" must be reduced and that this will therefore have an effect on our diet? What action could be taken at local and regional level to encourage an uptake of healthy and sustainable diets?
- Since the sustainability requirements entail a decrease in surface area and a decrease in production/ha anyway, we will have to produce in a more efficient way. What are your suggestions for producing in the most efficient way possible?
- The new CAP 2023-2027 has taken some very good initiatives to support young farmers (under 40 years old) through the higher payment entitlements from Pillar 1. In addition, the CAP 2023-2027 provides for a much stricter definition of the term "active farmer" (and retired farmers). Therefore, our suggestion could be to develop these orientations even further in the future European agricultural policy. Do you have any other suggestions for what Europe can do to ensure food production and encourage young people to start farming?
The adoption of the CoR opinion is scheduled for May 2023.
You are cordially invited to participate at our stakeholder consultation which will take place on Monday, 30 January 2023 at 9:30 (Brussels time) at the premises of the European Committee of the Regions, Rue Montoyer 92-102, 1040 Brussels, meeting room BVS 757. (BVS building)
The consultation will be in English, in person only. You are kindly asked to register via this Link
Deadline for registrations: 22 January 2023.
Your comments and/or your position papers are also welcome at email@example.com.