The EEAC Network and the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU organized a policy debate on the way forward to a sustainable European food system. Over 65 invited guest joined the session in Brussels on February 2nd 2023.
European society and its food system are facing a triple challenge, guaranteeing a healthy diet for all, mitigating and adapting to climate change, as well as protecting and restoring habitats for their biodiversity and ecosystems services. This triple challenge requires a systems approach. The Legislative Framework for sustainable food systems, which the European Commission has announced in the Farm to Fork strategy and is expected to adopt by the end of 2023, could provide a strong basis for the system approach. The ambition as well as the challenges to achieve a sustainable food system in the EU are vast and raise questions. How should the Legislative Framework best foster human and planetary health in a coherent and balanced approach between an agricultural supply policy, environmental policy and food (consumption) policy? And will the Legislative Framework direct the strong innovation capacity of actors away from ever lower food prices towards more sustainable farming, food processing and food consumption? Or how can a just transition be ensured?
The debate facilitated a a constructive and open exchange of views about the opportunities and challenges of transforming the European food system and the role that the EU legislative framework for sustainable food systems could play in this transformation. The Exchange was timely given that the European Commission is in the midst of preparing the EU legislative framework on a sustainable food system in the EU. It furthermore built upon the recently issued EEAC position paper on a sustainable food system in the EU. Read More