Raising the ambition on global aspects of the EU farm to fork strategy

This brief aims to unpack these issues and highlights how the external dimension of the Farm to Fork Strategy could be expanded to drive an effective and a much-needed global just transition towards inclusive and sustainable agri-food systems. We call on the EU to strengthen its approach towards global issues as the Strategy is discussed and approved by the European Parliament and the Council, as well as in the subsequent implementation of the Strategy.

Civil society recommendations, September 2020

The Farm to Fork Strategy includes a section on the external dimension entitled “Promoting the Global Transition”. The attention for the external dimension is crucial not only because the challenges the Strategy is seeking to address are global (climate change, biodiversity loss, public health impacts, animal welfare, living income for farmers, etc.), and require concerted responses from the international community; but also because Europe’s agricultural and food system has impacts outside Europe which need to be addressed. Some content in other sections of the Strategy too is relevant to third countries, even if it is not explicitly acknowledged. However, global issues are considered from a too narrow point of view and only very briefly, which does not well reflect the importance and impact of the EU’s agriculture and food policy outside its borders.

 

While the proposed Strategy goes in the right direction by addressing some of the urgent challenges in global and European agriculture and food systems, it remains driven by an approach aimed at making European agribusiness competitive on global markets. This contradicts the intention to reduce Europe’s climate footprint1 and is at odds with growing initiatives and demand for healthy and diversified food accessible through shorter supply chains.2 The Farm to Fork Strategy does not open the door to reviewing international trade relations to make food systems sustainable and fair, including by addressing increasing market concentration as well as the food systems externalities. Nor does the global dimension include concrete proposals to realize the Right to adequate Food, implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, or address measures to improve the working conditions of farm workers globally and the income of small-scale farmers that are part of international food supply chains or ensure that the precautionary principle is included for all food safety requirements.

 

This brief aims to unpack these issues and highlights how the external dimension of the Farm to Fork Strategy could be expanded to drive an effective and a much-needed global just transition towards inclusive and sustainable agri-food systems. We call on the EU to strengthen its approach towards global issues as the Strategy is discussed and approved by the European Parliament and the Council, as well as in the subsequent implementation of the Strategy.

 

For more Information, please, download the Document here below:

 

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