Common Food Policy for Europe unveiled — a blueprint for reform shaped by 400 food system actors

A Common Food Policy for Europe is urgently required to address climate change, halt biodiversity loss, curb obesity, and make farming viable for the next generation. This was the key message of a report launched recently by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), following a three-year process of participatory research.

IFOAM - Organics International welcomes this report and its proposals for reform. 

Launching the report today at the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee, Olivier De Schutter, IPES-Food co-chair and lead author, said: “A Common Food Policy can spark a wholesale transition to sustainable food systems in a way that the CAP, as a Common Agricultural Policy, cannot.”

“The most ambitious reforms — the reforms we most urgently need — will only become viable on the basis of reclaiming decision-making processes from powerful lobbies, bringing new actors around the table, shaping policies in more democratic ways, and allowing new priorities and new coalitions of interest to emerge.”

The report maps out a single, time-bound vision for reforming European food systems under a Common Food Policy: a policy framework setting a direction of travel for the whole food system, realigning the various sectoral policies that affect food production, processing, distribution, and consumption, and refocusing all actions on the transition to sustainability.

“We eat three times per day, but the EU does not have an overarching strategy to deliver the food systems that we want in Europe,” De Schutter said.

“As a result, we have anti-obesity strategies, alongside agri-trade policies that make junk food cheap and abundant. We offer premiums to young farmers, alongside a subsidy model that drives up land prices and undermines access to land. And we have strict environmental
standards, while the advisory services farmers would need to meet them are being defunded.”

“A Common Food Policy can put an end to these costly contradictions by tackling the root of the problem: the way we make policies and set priorities in food systems.”

The report puts forward 80 concrete reform proposals, carefully sequenced over the short-,medium- and long-term. “The Common Food Policy is an ambitious reform agenda. But it is realistic because the proposals are designed to reinforce one another.

You can download the report here. 

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