As part of the European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork Strategy was launched back in 2020 in hopes of guiding the EU towards a more sustainable, climate conscious future. Now in 2023, the strategy is up for review. Before the review is published, let’s take a look at the details of the F2F Strategy and see how it can improve the livelihood of those in Europe.
They’re goal within the EGD is to be the first climate neutral region by 2050, and implementing the strategy was one of their first major steps in the right direction. The F2F Strategy is a 10 year comprehensive guideline that confronts the challenges of producing and consuming food in a sustainable way. To ensure the efficiency of each step of the food chain, from production to transportation to consumption, the strategy outlines various processes and focuses, for the best holistic approach.
It consists of six main goals – ensures sustainable food production and food security, stimulates sustainable food processing, wholesales, hospitality and food services; promotes a sustainable shift into healthy public options, reduces food waste and loss, and combats food fraud after shipment. In order to meet these major goals, and their main goal of climate-neutrality in 27 years, the EU has created smaller, more realistic goals set to be achieved as stepping stones. As in, by 2030, 25% of farmland needs to be organic farming, the use of chemicals and pesticides should be reduced by 50%, and EU sales of antimicrobials for farm animals reduced by 50%.
Antimicrobials are the drugs used to kill certain bacterias and treat infections within humans and animals – medicines include antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals. The development of antimicrobial resistance occurs when the microorganisms that cause the negative bacteria or infection adapt and increase performance from the given medicine. Therefore, the original antimicrobial is insufficient to treat that set of bacteria etc. This cycle of recurring resistance can become harmful to animals, as well as humans, because the production of new medicine to combat the adapted bacteria develops at a slower rate – inherently causing illness and potential death among large quantities of animals.
Upon mapping set goals, there needs to be strong actions taken. The European Commision has outlined several of those strong actions to be completed in the coming years. The EC has created a plan for farmers to practice carbon sequestration to ensure sustainably sourced food, paired with reducing carbon emissions. To reduce food waste and loss, they are revising label rules on distributed foods to read ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ date labels– a marketing technique never seen in Europe before the proposal of this F2F Strategy.
By the end of this year , the EC plans to provide a multidimensional sustainable food system that would give a clearer understanding to the approach and commitment of the proposed strategy. Explanation and further detailing of possible consequences have been neglected in specific target areas, as well as the un-detailed steps towards achievement in other areas.
Mid this year , the F2F Strategy will be reviewed to see if the current actions taken are sufficient in reaching set goals and see which particular areas need more attention.