EU Parliament stands strong in support of the Farm to Fork Strategy
Today the European Parliament made their support clear for the transition to sustainable agriculture by voting in favour of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy and its targets. Implementation of the Strategy will not only benefit biodiversity and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaption, but it will also ensure a sustainable future for Europe’s farmers.
Photo: Megan Thomas / Unsplash
Intensive agriculture is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss in Europe (ECA, 2019) and is a threat to 86% of species at risk of extinction globally (UNEP, 2021). Achieving sustainable food systems is the only realistic alternative to halt biodiversity loss and ensure food security for future generations, and the Farm to Fork Strategy is an important tool to help make it possible.
The Parliament’s now agreed position was a joint negotiation between the Environment and Agriculture Committees which acknowledged the urgent need to transition towards sustainable food systems in the EU. The report, which was hotly debated in recent weeks , was today given the green light by MEPs who also welcomed the objectives of the Farm to Fork Strategy regarding environmental impact, climate change, biodiversity, food security and fair trade.
IUCN reiterates its support for the overall objective of the Farm to Fork Strategy to transition to a sustainable EU food system and specifically the targets on pesticides, fertilisers and antimicrobials reduction and the promotion of sustainable agricultural approaches.
Now that the EU Parliament has fully supported the Strategy, focus will turn to its implementation and the upcoming national Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plans. The Commission and Member States should now ensure the integration of the Farm to Fork and its targets into their CAP plans.
For further information, contact Edel Shanahan, Policy and Communications Officer
 The vote took place in the context of concerns around the impact of Farm to Fork on the productivity of European agriculture. Three studies published by Joint Research Centre (JRC), United States Department of Agriculture and Wageningen University concluded that the implementation of the strategy would lead to a reduction in productivity. However, the results of these studies should be carefully interpreted before judging the potential and relevance of the whole strategy. The studies only analysed certain actions of the strategy (mostly pesticides and fertiliser reduction and organic farmland increase), whilst the Farm to Fork aims to change food systems integrally, including consumption patterns and food waste rates. None of the studies considered the positive effects that the improved environmental status would have on agricultural productivity, or the impact of changes in consumer behaviour on demand. Importantly, the studies did not examine the cost of no action. The JRC study itself highlights these points in its abstract.