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EU’s F2F strategy to produce a more sustainable food system

Andre Laperrière, executive director of Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), has commented that the EU’s Farm-to-Fork strategy is crucial for a sustainable future

“Following on from last month’s passing of the EU’s Green Deal, the drive for Europe to become a carbon-neutral continent by 2050 is now well underway. One of the key features of this deal which is due to be tabled in Spring this year, is the ‘Farm to Fork Strategy’ (F2F) and this will be crucial in helping Europe achieve a greener and healthier agricultural system. If this key strategy is not actioned, or organisations are not held accountable for failing to comply, then Europe will not be able to achieve its goal in combatting climate change.

With food systems currently responsible for almost a third of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, putting food under the spotlight is a step in the right direction. By tearing up the outdated format, the F2F Strategy will help reduce emissions and produce a more sustainable food system.

However, this can be achieved through a fair and direct approach heavily focused on engagement with all those involved in the food supply chain. Only then can we begin the rapid shift away from high polluting industries and technologies.

To begin, food and drink manufacturers need to ensure that their business models and strategies are heavily focused on sustainability. This needs to be promoted from top to bottom from the types of machinery they use to the vehicles they use to deliver products whilst also meeting consumer demands.

However, they can’t do this alone and it is important that organisations and policymakers are ensuring that they are fostering innovation by removing potential barriers. One way this can be done is through encouraging the use of open data as this will help develop a greater understanding and in turn produce more ways to help meet the standards of the Green Deal. By harbouring data sharing, companies and farmers will be able to look at new and effective ways to maximise the potential of data. In doing this, the results will be vast and will help Europe have a more ethical and sustainable food supply chain. However, it will require collaboration from all parties to ensure this.

The F2F strategy should be not to be viewed as just a policy focused on delivering a better environment. Instead, it should be viewed as a catalyst for change to help improve the thinking and ideas of all those involved in the food supply chain. It should be embraced and used as a way of producing a more prosperous future and identifying new opportunities to take all in Europe to greater heights.”