VIRTUAL EVENT: The Farm to Fork Strategy. Cleaning up the EU’s agri food system within and beyond

27 October 200. The Farm to Fork Strategy. Cleaning up the EU’s agri food system within and beyond

The spread of COVID-19 has shown the vulnerabilities of the EU’s food supply chains. These weaknesses have tremendous implications in terms of health, environmental protection and human development, while causing negative externalities in third and developing countries. 

In this context, in May 2020, the European Commission published its Farm to Fork Strategy, a very ambitious document that is at the heart of the European Green Deal and that aims to lead transition towards more sustainable food systems within and outside of the Union. 

On the one hand, the implementation of the Farm to Fork Strategy will be crucial to make the EU’s food systems more resilient, by reducing their environmental footprint while promoting more sustainable and healthy diets. On the other hand, since the EU is the biggest importer and exporter of agri-food products and the largest seafood market in the world, it is likely that the Strategy will produce significant impacts on third countries. Hence, making the EU’s agri food chain more sustainable and fairer is a key challenge and opportunity to drive for change both at the regional and global level.

The event allowed the audience to look at the Strategy through broader lenses and to grasp the spill-over effects that its implementation can generate at the external level, in line with the goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.

This event was co-organised in collaboration with the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), which is a network of European independent think tanks working on EU international cooperation for global sustainable development.

  • Leonard Mizzi – Head of Unit C.1 Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition, DG DEVCO
  • Alisa Tiganj – Policy Analyst, Unit C.1 DG AGRI
  • Daniele Fattibene – Research Fellow, The Institute of International Affairs (IAI)
  • Giulia Lagana – Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI)
  • Gerda Verburg – Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and UN Assistant Secretary-General
  • Pierre-Marie Aubert – Coordinator, European Agriculture Initiative, Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales (IDDRI)

19 October 2020. Council prioritises actions for sustainable food systems: conclusions on the farm to fork strategy

The Council adopted a set of conclusions on the farm to fork strategy, endorsing the goal of developing a European sustainable food system, from production to consumption. 

The unanimous decision reached is a crucial signal and a clear commitment to a sustainable and economically viable agri-food sector. For the first time, the entire food system is taken into account as a whole – from producers to consumers. It is a solid starting point and we are looking forward to working altogether the coming years towards a truly sustainable and fair food system in Europe and beyond.  Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture of Germany

The conclusions entail a two-fold political message from the member states: ensure sufficient and affordable food while contributing to EU climate neutrality by 2050 and ensuring a fair income and strong support for primary producers.

REAFFIRMS the EU’s commitment to global cooperation on sustainable food systems with due respect for the different challenges worldwide and ENCOURAGES the inclusion of sustainable food systems as an objective of the EU external policies and the inclusion of specific chapters on sustainable food systems in all new alliances and agreements with all partners. REAFIRMS the importance of the EU’s support for sustainable African rural development and, in this respect, RECALLS the declaration of the third conference of agricultural ministers from the African Union and European Union”

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