Need for change
The EU’s food and farming system is broken. A large share of the EU’s budget is directed towards the food and farming sector, yet at the same time biodiversity loss and climate crisis accelerate and we see a decline of farms across the EU, especially small-scale farms have to close their business. Why do politicians not stamp on the brakes and enable a fair and sustainable transition of the food and farming sector?
The recent reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) brings little change to the current dominant system. Yet, the EU Commission recognises that we need to transform our food and farming system. With the EU Green Deal, the EU Commission presented an umbrella strategy to bring the EU onto a more sustainable pathway. The EU Green Deal rightfully addresses EU agriculture as a major contributor to climate change, pollution, and biodiversity decline, which in turn constitute important threats to the EU’s long-term food security. Two strategies of the EU Green Deal will play an important role to transform our food system: The EU Farm to Fork Strategy and the EU Biodiversity Strategy.
The EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy
The Farm to Fork Strategy aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system including environmental, agricultural and public health aspects of food. It sets clear targets to increase organically farmed land to 25%, to half the use of pesticides by -50% and to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers by 20% by 2030.
The EU’s Biodiversity Strategy
The EU Biodiversity Strategy is a longer-term plan for protecting nature and reversing the degradations of ecosystems. The strategy includes various targets, including ensuring ten percent space for nature on agricultural land.
As civil society, we need to get active and ensure that the strategies are transformed into enforceable law without being watered down by the agro-industrial lobby. Amidst the the social and ecological crisis in farming, we need to ensure that ambitious targets are being implemented! We want a fair food and farming system – we want it NOW!
Reducing pesticides is key for the transition
In 2022, the Good Food Good Farming movement will increase public pressure on the substantial reduction of pesticides as important decisions will be taken this year: The EU will revise their pesticide legislation, named the renewal of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive, and the permit for the use of the pesticide glyphosate needs to be renewed.
The ambitious implementation of the Farm to Fork and the EU Biodiversity Strategies have the potential to be a first step towards into right direction to ensure a fairer and more sustainable food system. Join us, get active and demand sovereignty about our food!
Read a more detailed introduction to the Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity Strategies (provided by SlowFood) here. You can find communication material, including a comic on certain aspects of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies here.