May 25, 2020


EU adopts new strategy that cuts use of microbials, pesticides in fish and animal farming


The European Commission has adopted what it calls a Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system, the EC said in a news release.


This strategy seeks to reduce the environmental and climate footprint of the EU food system and strengthen its resilience. Specifically, the strategy targets to, among others, reduce by 50% sales of antimicrobials used for farmed animals and aquaculture, reduce by 50% the use and risk of pesticides, reduce by at least 20% the use of fertilizers, and reach 25% of agricultural land under organic farming.


It also proposes measures to ensure the healthy option for EU citizens, including improved labelling to better meet consumers' information needs on healthy, sustainable foods.


Under the strategy, European farmers, fishers and aquaculture producers will get support from the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy through new streams of funding and eco-schemes to take up sustainable practices.


"Making sustainability Europe's trademark will open new business opportunities and diversify sources of income for European farmers and fishers", the EC said.


'A driving force for sustainability'


"We must move forward and make the EU's food system a driving force for sustainability. The Farm to Fork Strategy will make a positive difference across the board in how we produce, buy and consume our food that will benefit the health of our citizens, societies and the environment", Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said.


"It offers the opportunity to reconcile our food systems with our planet's health, to ensure food security and meet the aspirations of Europeans for healthy, equitable and eco-friendly food".


Meanwhile, along with the Farm to Fork Strategy, the EC also adopted a new Biodiversity Strategy on the same day, May 20, which is crucial to preventing and building resilience to future outbreaks and providing immediate business and investment opportunities for restoring the EU's economy.


It also aims to make biodiversity considerations an integral part of EU's overall economic growth strategy. The strategy proposes to, among others, establish binding targets to restore damaged ecosystems and rivers, improve the health of EU protected habitats and species, bring back pollinators to agricultural land, reduce pollution, green cities, enhance organic farming and other biodiversity-friendly farming practices, and improve the health of European forests.


The strategy brings forward concrete steps to put Europe's biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030, including transforming at least 30% of Europe's lands and seas into effectively managed protected areas and bringing back at least 10% of agricultural area under high-diversity landscape features.