The EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy has been called a “game changer”. Published by the European Commission in May 2020, it represents a 10-year plan to promote a sustainable EU food system, from production to consumption; setting out a number of ambitious goals to be achieved by 2030 on pesticides, fertilisers, organic farming and antimicrobial resistance. What do citizens think of the commitments proposed in the F2F Strategy?

Want to learn more about the EU’s policies on sustainable agriculture? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):

What do our readers think? The EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy includes a commitment to a 50% reduction in the sale of antimicrobials for farmed animals and in aquaculture. Julia does not like the widespread use of antimicrobials in farming, but she is worried about the price of food without them, particularly for people on low incomes. Are we going to see food prices go up because of the commitments in the Farm to Fork Strategy?

To get a response, we put Julia’s comment to Ulrike Müller, a German MEP and member of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. What would she say?

For another perspective, we put the same comment to Tassos Haniotis, Director of Strategy, Simplification & Policy Analysis at the European Commission DG for Agriculture & Rural Development. How would he respond?

The EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy also includes a commitment to a 50% reduction in the use of chemical pesticides by 2030. Maria fully supports this approach, arguing the goal should one day be to phase out pesticides completely.

What would Tassos Haniotis say to Maria?

How would Tassos Haniotis from the European Commission respond?

Finally, the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy includes a commitment to 25% of total farmland being used for organic farming by 2030. Francesco left us a comment arguing the EU should not be locking itself into what he calls “medieval farming techniques” like organic farming, but rather embrace new technologies such as vertical farming, GMOs, bacterial proteins, etc.

How would Tassos Haniotis react?

What should the EU do to promote sustainable agriculture? Will food prices go up because of EU commitments to cut antimicrobial sales? Should the EU phase out pesticides completely one day? Should the Farm to Fork Strategy embrace new technologies rather than focusing on organic farming? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: Photo by Peter Wendt on Unsplash
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13 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar

    Make access to subsidies easier. Increase the subsidies cap for agricultural equipment, seeds,fuel and modern tech.

    Modernise and optimise agricultural processes.

    Invest in funds for agrictural clusters and necessary infrastructure.

    Revert to more smaller but sustainable producers, rather than a few large ones. Prioritize purchasing raw materials from European producers over cheap imports.

  2. avatar

    I think Vandana Shiva is on the right track with organic, local, small farms and fair-trade. However I do think that high-tech and natural is the way forward as opposed to high-tech and chemical. Or an even worse and highly detrimental scenario of high tech and fake processed foods. If small farms suffer on the EU Fork strategy, the EU needs to create a separate strategy for small farms that helps them more.

  3. avatar

    What on Earth this “sustainable” is? It looks like a buzzword used in every conversation with no meaning 🤷‍♂️ As for the topic – the World will face hunger very soon and we need to focus on increasing of production. Of course it has to be safe for us at the same time. So implementing new technologies is the only way!

  4. avatar

    To be able to promote sustainable farming, the EU should put heavy tariffs on non-EU foods. Sustainable farming requires a lot of work, and this means higher prices are necessary for profitability. But right now if an EU-farmed apple is more expensive than a non-EU banana, most consumers would choose the latter.
    Pesiticides are losing effectiveness, because the insects are gradually building up resistance, and weeds get gradually more resistant to weedkillers. The future is organic farming.

    However EU trade policies, like the MERCOSUR-agreement work against European farmers.

    • avatar
      JT HK

      It is wrong to suggest ” put heavy tariffs on non-EU foods”. It is better to say ” put heavy tariffs on unhealthy foods such as those using pesticides or genetic reconstructed food.

    • avatar

      Any food you buy in a supermarket (that is not certified organic) was farmed with the use of pesticides. Their use is far easier and cheaper than the sustainable methods for the same purposes. Still, within Europe, there are regulations and expectations on chemical content, even for non-organic foods. That is not so worldwide.

      While sustainable farming needs to be supported, food should stay easily affordable for everyone, even if someone’s income is low. Taxing food is wrong, and decimates public support.

      If we want sustainable farming, the EU domestic market will need protection from the global market, otherwise it won’t be competitive against cheaper alternatives, and in long term that means a risk of food supply security, that is a must.

  5. avatar

    I dont know. The only thing I know is that I am fed up with the word – sustainable

  6. avatar

    Finance small farms, not industrial agriculture

  7. avatar

    Stop your crazy norm obsession

  8. avatar

    Perhaps genetically engineer hardier varieties to reduce the need for pesticides, invest in vertical farming. The “organic” fad is just ridiculous.

  9. avatar

    I thonk there was similar question just recently. The fact is that it will nit be enough food in the nearest future and we need to think of how to feed people, of course thinking of safety. Advanved technology shall be the focus here to advance production, not subsidies or “organic”, “bio” tags with high prices.

  10. avatar

    Whilst it’s absolutely correct that anything that may harm either consumers, wildlife or the environment shouldn’t be used; people need to understand that with an ever increasing demand for food from an ever growing population, “traditional/organic” farming techniques that may eschew more productive programmes, just wont be able to meet the demand
    In my fathers lifetime, the world population has grown from 2 billion to over 7 billion.
    Unless we all want to consume insects (!), then we need to be open to use all the tools that agro/science can provide

  11. avatar

    Perhaps there should be a very, very basic information programme for the public, as there are still many misconceptions on organic, sustainable farming. For example on topics like the basic reasons, how labs check chemical residue levels, why bees are in danger, soil erosion, chemicals’ effectiveness over time, how all this affects humans

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