Farm To Fork – Can it lead to a ‘gold-standard food system’ in Europe, focused on SDGs?

The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the European Green Deal, aiming to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly.

Food systems cannot be resilient to crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic if they are not sustainable. Some civil society stakeholders are calling for a redesign of our food systems which account for nearly one-third of global GHG emissions. They claim the current systems consume large amounts of natural resources, result in biodiversity loss and negative health impacts, and do not allow fair economic returns and livelihoods for all actors, in particular for primary producers.

The Farm to Fork strategy is central to the Commission’s agenda to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The strategy is designed to help the EU make progress towards its climate and energy targets (SDG 7 and SDG 13), and improve the viability and sustainability of its agriculture sector (SDG 2) and the health of the EU population (SDG 3). It will also contribute to the EU’s efforts to sustainably manage forests and halt deforestation, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, halt biodiversity loss, protect threatened species (SDG 15), and protect and ensure the sustainable use of oceans (SDG 14).

The aim of the Farm to Fork strategy is to make the EU food system a global standard for sustainability. But the transition to sustainable food systems will require a collective approach involving public authorities at all levels of governance, private sector actors across the food value chain, non-governmental organisations, social partners, academics and citizens.