Farm to Fork Strategy: a redesign of food systems

The ‘Farm to Fork’ Strategy is Europe’s new comprehensive approach to address the challenges of sustainable food systems, while bridging the inextricable links between healthy people, healthy societies and a healthy planet. Being at the heart of the Green Deal, the Strategy lays down a new approach to ensure that both primary producers and food value chains contribute appropriately to the emission reduction target by 55% by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050.

Sustainable food systems

European food is already considered a global standard for food that is safe, plentiful, nutritious and of high quality. With this blueprint, the Commission now aspires to set European food as a global standard for sustainability. Primary producers, such as farmers, fishers and aquaculture producers need to adopt green production processes more quickly, and make the best use of nature-based, technological, digital, and space-based solutions to deliver better climate and environmental results, increase climate resilience and reduce and optimise the use of inputs. In particular, with the Strategy Europe aims to reduce dependency on pesticides and antimicrobials, reduce excess fertilisation, increase organic farming, improve animal welfare, and reverse biodiversity loss.

Food security

Given the complexity and number of actors involved in the food value chain, the Commission aspires to ensure food security and safety, reinforce public health and mitigate their socio-economic impact in the EU, especially at times of crises. With the Strategy, Europe aims to address not only reduction of import of primary products, but also coordinate and set up a food crisis response mechanism in various sectors (agriculture, fisheries, food safety, workforce, health and transport issues) depending on the nature of the crisis.

Sustainable food processing, wholesale, retail, hospitality and food services practices

Strengthening the sustainability of food systems extends further than production methods, spanning from nutritional composition, packaging, transport, to merchandising and marketing practices. With the Strategy, the Commission aims to develop an EU Code of conduct for responsible business and marketing practice accompanied with a monitoring framework that will increase the availability and affordability of healthy, offer sustainable food options and reduce the environmental and social footprint at global scale.

Sustainable food consumption and healthy diets

The Strategy aims to improve the availability, quality and price of sustainable food and to promote healthy and sustainable diets. Moving to a more plant-based diet with less red and processed meat and with more fruits and vegetables will reduce not only risks of life-threatening diseases, but also the environmental impact of the food system. To empower consumers to make informed, healthy and sustainable food choices, the Commission seeks to propose harmonised mandatory nutrition labelling and health claims.

Food lose and waste

Reducing food loss and waste is key to achieving sustainability. It brings savings for consumers and operators, and the recovery and redistribution of surplus food that would otherwise be wasted has an important social dimension. It also ties in with policies on the recovery of nutrients and secondary raw materials, the production of feed, food safety, biodiversity, bioeconomy, waste management and renewable energy.

Food fraud mitigation

Food fraud puts sustainability of food systems at risk. The Commission aims to fight against food fraud by placing strict control systems. It will work with Member States and enforcement authorities to use EU data on traceability and alerts to improve coordination on food fraud and propose stricter dissuasive measures and better import controls.