Ahead of a much-anticipated ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy to accompany the EU Green Deal, some EU policymakers say Europe’s food should be protected from American pressure.
The European Commission is not only intent on protecting the value of the European food system it also wants to promote it on the global stage, said a member of cabinet for Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans, in charge of overseeing the EU Green Deal.
The aim is to make Europe’s food the global standard for sustainability, said Commission official Lukas Visek, who spoke at a EURACTIV event on sustainable food last week.
“We’re not going to go down on our food standards,” Visek stressed. “The EU is the largest exporter and importer of food, we have the safest food in the world, we have a diversity of diets – there is no point lowering our standards,” he added, amid growing US pressure to force chlorine-washed chicken on EU markets.
Europe’s diverse culinary traditions are, indeed, a source of pride for many, and for many countries, food is a central part of their economy.
The Commission is now drafting a new integrated food policy, the so-called Farm to Fork strategy (F2F), to further promote EU food systems and make them more sustainable.
Also embedded in the EU Green Deal, it will be the first EU strategy to encompass the entirety of the food system, from the seeds that go into the ground to the production line to the grocery store to the plate to the waste bin.
Given that food chain accounts for a large amount of EU carbon emissions, the F2F might give a crucial contribution in getting the EU to its target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, but it will also address questions of diet and health, as concerns rise over increasing obesity in Europe.