The European Union is committed to improving not only the air we breathe, but also the food we eat. That’s why the European Commission has announced a strategy called “From Farm to Fork”. What is this strategy really about?
Safety is a priority for the entire European Union. The Coronavirus pandemic, which turned the whole world upside down, showed how important safety is. The EU is therefore committed to the well-being not only of the population, but also of the planet and its every inhabitant. To this end, it is introducing the European Green Deal, which aims to bring our continent to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
One of the main parts of this multiannual plan is the Farm-to-Fork strategy, which aims to bring order to the coexistence of humans with Europe’s flora and fauna. The European Union strategy is a 10-year plan to introduce a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system. Each member country will be required to follow the plan, implementing it at the national level and taking advantage of support measures
The main goals of the strategy, besides ensuring food security, are:
- reduce food waste,
- to improve animal welfare,
- sustainable food production by increasing organic production,
- providing enough nutritious and healthy food,
- sustainable food consumption,
- countering food adulteration in the supply chain.
The Farm-to-Fork strategy assumes that everyone in the food chain from the producer to the consumer is expected to contribute to a sustainable food system.
Farmers in tune with nature
In order to implement this ambitious plan, so-called eco-schemes have been created to finance those who choose to operate their farms in an environmentally friendly manner. Farmers who reduce greenhouse gas emissions, practice precision agriculture, agroforestry or improve animal welfare can count on an inflow of additional money from the budget dedicated specifically to these activities.
The strategy aims to reduce the use of more dangerous pesticides by 50% by 2030, thus reducing the risks associated with them.
There will also be measures to reduce the use of fertilizers by 20% and limit nutrient losses by 50% without loss of fertility.
The European Union also has the welfare of animals in mind and wants to control more the administration of drugs and antibiotics in livestock farms. According to the European Commission, resistance to antimicrobial drugs associated with their use in animal and human treatment leads to about 33,000 deaths annually. In addition, more attention will be paid to the transport, maintenance and slaughter of animals. All this is to improve their welfare and the quality of the food produced.
The European Commission wants ecological focus areas to account for 25% of all agricultural land by 2030.
“From field to table” is also geared towards minimizing fishing losses and identifying them better. The aim is to make illegal fishing more difficult, and digitized catch certificates are intended to help with this
The Commission proposes to allocate €10 billion for research and innovation on food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and environment, as well as the use of digital technology and environment-based solutions.
Not agriculture alone
Of course, for the plan to succeed, the EU will encourage consumers to buy products that are produced in a more sustainable way. To do this, it will review its promotion program to increase its contribution to sustainable production and consumption
The Farm-to-Fork strategy covers not only the agricultural industry, but also the food packaging industry, the catering, hospitality and wholesale and retail industries. At this level too, changes should be made to reduce food waste and reuse as many materials as possible.
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