Food sustainability

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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

  • Food security and sustainable food systems - With Commissioner Wojciechowski

    The EESC will host the third EU Youth Round Table on Wednesday 30 November, 14:30-16:00 CET. Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner for Agriculture, will participate in the event and will engage with the youth representatives on the topic: food security and sustainable food systems.

  • The role of civil society

    This thematic debate aims to discuss the impacts of the war on food security worldwide, with a focus on some specific world regions; further actions that will be needed to ensure food security while fostering resilient and sustainable food systems and the role civil society can play in ensuring food security both in Europe and beyond.

  • Consumers and Environment Category

    The aim of the conference is to look at how the European Union can be more active in this area, especially through better cooperation among the key stakeholders. The conference will take place in a hybrid format.

  • Extraordinary meeting of the Diversity Europe Group in the framework of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU

    The event will take place both in Brussels and in Ljubljana in hybrid form. Registration for external participants will be open on this page until 25 November 2021.

  • Farm to Fork Strategy

    The webinar will take place in the context of the EESC Thematic Study Group on Sustainable Food Systems, in cooperation with the EESC INT Section and will explore amongst other questions, how to better align food industry with the SDGs and stimulate sustainable food production, processing, and distribution across the chain.

  • This online public hearing will discuss how to transform the targets proposed in the Action Plan for the development of EU organic production into on-the-ground strategies related to organic production and consumption.

  • Towards the UN Food Systems Summit

    The online public hearing organised by the EESC in the context of the EESC Thematic Study Group (TSG) on Sustainable Food Systems aims to explore the vulnerabilities and inequalities of European food systems and to identify the enablers to achieve more equitable and fair supply chains. 

  • Unblocking innovation — Shaping ‘Food 2030’ — Envisaging ‘Food 2050’

    The EESC’s Temporary Study Group on Sustainable Food, together with the Food Lawyers’ Network - FLN, invites you for an one-day conference on innovation in food. With high-levels speakers, including from the European Commission, and a multitude of expertise gathered in the conference room, there will be a focus on market access for regulated products, especially novel food and on science against food fraud as well as intellectual property for food including patents and data protection.

  • In the context of the UN 2030 Agenda, the European Economic and Social Committee will hold a public debate where we will explore how the EESC has worked towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in practice – both with civil society, and within the Committee itself.   

  • Presentation by Agnès Popelin Desplanches - Opinion: For a national public environmental health policy at the heart of the territories