The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted the opinion From Farm to Fork: a sustainable food strategy at its September Plenary session, following the European Commission's communication on the Farm to Fork Strategy - for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system. As an integral part of the European Green Deal, this is the first EU strategy claiming to encompass the entirety of the food chain.
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The COVID-19 pandemic is demonstrating the geostrategic nature of the agri-food sector and the need to maintain food self-sufficiency in the EU. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) therefore welcomes the new measure proposed by the European Commission to support farms and agri-food SMEs experiencing liquidity problems and to ensure their economic survival during this crisis. However, the EESC thinks that the European Commission should set up a special fund outside of the common agricultural policy budget to implement it.
EESC plenary provides European platform for successful European Citizens' Initiatives.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) gave the floor to the ''End the Cage Age'' European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) at its 23 January plenary, held in Brussels, providing a European level platform for it to express its goals and concerns about the welfare of farming animals.
This is key to boosting rural areas and making them more attractive,
along with robust CAP measures targeted at young farmers.
Cooperation and partnership between the European Union, national governments and civil society will be crucial for fostering the generational renewal of the farming population.
In December 2018, the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (UNDROP) was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in New York by a large majority of countries. This event aims to bring together representatives of UN agencies, European Union institutions, academics, experts and most importantly peasants from Europe for an exchange of views.
Farming can only be continued if our natural resources are preserved, warns EESC
The EU needs to put greater emphasis on short supply chains and agroecology in farming in order to preserve its agriculture and make it more resilient to new challenges, such as climate change. Agroecology is also a way to secure our food supply, make our food healthier and as such raise its value. Short supply chains will help smaller farms to increase their income and enliven rural areas.
Farmers' contribution to food security and keeping rural areas alive needs to be better rewarded. Farm profitability and economic viability is a serious issue in the EU, where farmers' incomes on average amount to just 46.5% of those in other economic sectors.
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
Organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 28 February 2019, the public hearing on 'Civil Society in Action: European Bioeconomy Strategy' brought together several representatives of different civil society organisations and institutions.
The European project should be strengthened to deal more effectively with a changing world: this was the main conclusion reached at the round table on "European policies for a world in transition: challenges ahead of the upcoming European elections”, held on 4 March at the European Commission Representation in Madrid.