Strengthening local and regional food production and processing within the EU and guaranteeing decent working conditions for all workers in agriculture and the wider food sector are important objectives in seeking to improve the sustainability of the European food supply chain. Other aspects of key importance to sustainability are fair international trading practices, encouraging more women and young people into the farming sector, and structured stakeholder involvement and dialogue.
Extraordinary meeting of the Diversity Europe Group in the context of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Conference on the Future of Europe on 29 November 2021
The EU has some of the strongest regulations in the world on the use of plant protection products (PPPs – pesticides) and other chemicals in agriculture. However, there is still room for improvement to achieve greater regulatory convergence to reduce the risks of using PPPs, and to guarantee a healthy and safe food supply for an ever-growing world population.
The NAT section invited the two winners of the COPA COGECA 2021 Innovation Award for Women Farmers to join its Section meeting of 15 April 2021 to bring practical and innovative ideas in their debates.
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.
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.
On 19 February 2020, Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski met Maurizio Reale, the president of the EESC’s NAT section to explore possibilities for cooperation.