The own-initiative opinion, prepared by the EESC Permanent Study Group on Sustainable Food Systems, will aim to identify existing challenges, policy inconsistencies and obstacles to a more coherent food policy approach at EU level; to provide examples of ongoing transitions to more sustainable food policies at local/regional/national level; to highlight the role of civil society in building partnerships among stakeholders across the food supply chain; and to define how a comprehensive food policy for the EU should look, including an indicative roadmap.
From agricultural to food policy – Towards healthy and sustainable production and consumption - 21 April 2016, The Hague
Farmers, consumers, academics and policy-maker were among the wide range of participants at a Group III 'Various Interests" European Economic and Social Committee event in the Netherlands to examine the future of food production and consumption.
The Exploratory opinion on "More sustainable food systems" (Rapporteur: Mindaugas Maciulevičius), requested by the Netherlands presidency of the EU, was adopted by the EESC at its plenary session on 26 May 2016. The opinion calls for the development of a comprehensive food policy in the EU and for an ...
The EESC has received a request from the incoming Dutch EU Presidency for an exploratory opinion on how to achieve more sustainable food systems in a resource-constrained world. In the past few years, civil society has been increasingly concerned about the environmental, economic and social impact of unsustainable food chains. Globally, about one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. Food is also one of the most important drivers of environmental pressures. The hearing will represent an opportunity to hear from experts and stakeholders about their views and initiatives for a transition to more sustainable food systems in Europe. The discussion will take a holistic and systemic approach by considering the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainability and the importance of cross-sectoral co-operation across the food supply chain.
The agro-food supply chain connects important and diverse sectors of the European economy that are essential for economic, social and environmental welfare as well as for the health of European citizens. Over recent years, there has been a shift in bargaining power in the supply chain, mostly to the advantage of the retail sector and to the detriment of primary producers. The position of the most vulnerable actors, such as farmers, should therefore be addressed, in particular by ensuring that prices that allow the farmer to make a fair profit are paid throughout the agro-food supply chain and by putting an end to unfair trading practices.
"To secure livelihood of the population, continuity of vital economic activity and functioning of the infrastructure (also) during serious disturbances and exceptional circumstances ..."
"The recent international events have been a stress test for the CAP. Has the CAP been flexible enough to address the boom and bust in the commodities market?"
"Swiss agricultural production currently covers roughly 60 % of our food requirements"
"Yhtä elintärkeitä toimintoja kuin lentoliikenteen häiriötön jatkuminen on yhteiskunnassamme monia ja useimmat ovat vielä sidoksissa toisiinsa – kun yksi toiminto on syystä tai toisesta jumissa, sillä on yllättävän kauaskantoisia vaikutuksia useaan eri sektoriin. Häiriö- ja kriisialttiita sektoreita ovat perinteisesti esim. tietoliikenneyhteydet, lentoliikenne ja merikuljetukset. ..."
The EESC strongly believe that ensuring food security is not just about producing more food. Supplying diverse, nutritious and good quality foods, supporting smallholder farmers, sustaining soil and water resources and reducing food waste are objectives that should also be pursued.
The EESC aims to promote civil society's role in food security, for example through its opinions, its cooperation with the FAO, participating as observer in the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) or through UN International Year events.