How to link sustainable food procurement with strategic policies or climate change actions? How to overcome public procurement issues related to purchasing "local & regional food"? If 1€ invested in sustainable school meals brings up to 6€ in social return in investment imagine the impact of sustainable school meals all across Europe! ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability in partnership with the Committee of the Regions and the Organic Cities Network Europe invite you to the 30th edition of Breakfast at Sustainability.
Food is at the centre of our lives and an integral part of the European culture. However, the food we eat, the ways we produce it and the amounts wasted have major impacts on human health, natural resources and society as a whole:
- Citizens –and children in particular– are increasingly suffering from overweight and obesity due to unhealthy diets.
- Farmers and workers do not get a fair price for their produce.
- One third of food is lost or wasted across the food chain.
- The environment is paying the bill with the dramatic effects of food production and consumption on climate change, loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution, soil degradation, etc.
The COVID-19 crisis is a wake-up call for change. It has demonstrated that getting food "from farm to fork" cannot be taken for granted and has shown the interconnectedness of actors and activities throughout the food system. Fair, resource efficient, inclusive and sustainable supply chains in the whole agriculture and food sector are needed more than ever to deliver equally for citizens, farmers, workers and business.
The EESC has been for years at the forefront of calling for a sustainable and comprehensive food policy. Such an integrated and systemic approach is essential to tackle the multiple and interconnected challenges affecting food systems; to deliver economic, environmental and socio-cultural sustainability; to ensure integration and coherence across policy areas (such as agriculture, environment, health, education, trade, economy, technology, etc.); and to promote cooperation across levels of governance.
EESC puts forward proposal to increase their contributions. The bioeconomy is a crucial factor in fighting climate change, responding to the growing food demand and boosting rural areas. In its opinion on the Updating of the Bioeconomy Strategy, adopted at its plenary session of 15 May, the EESC calls for better support for SMEs in the form of advice and access to finance
Food is at the centre of our lives and an integral part of the European culture. Food also plays a crucial role in our economy: it is the Union’s biggest manufacturing sector in terms of employment and contribution to GDP. Also, the food we eat, the ways we produce it and the amounts wasted have major impacts on human health, on natural resources and on society as a whole.