On 20 May 2020 the European Commission published the communication Farm to Fork – for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system.
The Strategy aims to promote a transition to sustainable food systems by setting concrete targets:
- a reduction by 50% of the use and risk of pesticides;
- a reduction by at least 20% of the use of fertilisers;
- a reduction by 50% in sales of antimicrobials used for farmed animals and aquaculture;
- and reaching 25% of agricultural land under organic farming.
Furthermore, the Strategy also proposes other measures, such as those on nutritional and environmental labelling, reformulation and nutritional profiling with a view to improving consumer information, as well as on food waste.
A draft action plan is appended to the Strategy with a list of impact evaluations and legislation to be proposed or reviewed in the coming years.
Finally, other documents accompany the Strategy, such as the Staff Working Document on the link between CAP reform and the Green Deal, identifying potential obstacles and/or gaps jeopardising the ambition level of the Green Deal in the agricultural sector.
The European Committee of the Regions is currently drafting an opinion on the Farm to Fork Strategy to bring forward a local and regional dimension. The rapporteur, Guido Milana (PES/IT), would like to have your views on this topic.
The adoption of our opinion is scheduled for December 2020.
By means of this written consultation, Mr Milana, would like to consult relevant stakeholders and gather their input to explore the following questions:
- In what ways is the current crisis affecting your local/regional food systems? What are the key initiatives and measures put in place or needed to strengthen local/regional food systems in response to this emergency? What type of EU level measures can help these responses?
- How should we define short supply chains based on sustainable and agro-ecological food production and what is their role in building a more sustainable and fair food system in Europe?
- What short-term and long-term measures are necessary to rebuild and strengthen direct and transparent food chains? In what ways should existing or new instruments (see for instance the CAP or others) be re-oriented in order to protect short food chains based on agro-biodiversity?
- Given the predominance of agribusiness in the food system and the vulnerable position of small producers, what can the EU do in cooperation with the Member States and local and regional authorities to ensure an ever-increasing market share for alternative sectors?
- What tools can be put in place to foster responsible and critical consumption, including the orientation of food choices towards plant-based regimes and the lowering of meat consumption?
- What would you suggest to combat food poverty and tackle the obesity and poor nutrition that still affect a large part of European society?
- Which measures would help to prevent and reduce food waste in the different stages of the food chain (from production to consumption)?
- Are changes needed in EU legislation and the guidelines on public procurement in order to facilitate local/regional authorities to implement farm-to-school and similar local-sustainable procurement schemes?
- How do you envisage the governance of the strategy? Which stakeholders should be involved (including actors from local and regional authorities) and how can they play a role in monitoring and helping with the implementation of the Strategy? What can we learn from the model of urban-regional "food policy councils"?
- In what ways can the future CAP (Strategic Plans) support climate and environmental ambitions of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, including the enhancement of food production systems based on agro-biodiversity and agro-ecology?
You are asked to contribute to this consultation by sending your replies to the questions above, or any additional comments and/or your position papers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: 30 June 2020