EU agriculture ministers formally endorse Farm to Fork Strategy

EU agriculture ministers have formally endorsed the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy.

The conclusion adopted at a meeting of agriculture ministers entails a “two-fold” political message from the member states: “Ensure sufficient and affordable food while contributing to EU climate neutrality by 2050 and ensuring a fair income and strong support for primary producers.”

Juila Klochner, the German minister for food and agriculture (Germany currently holds the European Presidency, meaning Klochner leads the meeting of agriculture ministers) said: “The unanimous decision reached is a crucial signal and a clear commitment to a sustainable and economically viable agri-food sector.

For the first time, the entire food system is taken into account as a whole – from producers to consumers. It is a solid starting point and we are looking forward to working altogether in the coming years towards a truly sustainable and fair food system in Europe and beyond.

The conclusions state that the council is calling for scientifically-sound impact assessments to be the basis of EU legislative proposals under the Farm to Fork Strategy.

It also calls to continue promoting the “prudent and responsible use of pesticides, antimicrobials and fertilisers in order to produce food sustainably and support the environment at the same time”.

“Moreover, ministers call for a level playing field on competitive agri-food markets and compatibility with WTO [World Trade Organization] rules,” the council of ministers said in a statement.

Member states recognise that European food is already a global standard for safety, nutritional value and high quality and, thus, they recognise the importance of promoting sustainability of food systems at a global level.

“This would result in more ambitious commitments from non-EU countries in environmental protection, use of pesticides and antimicrobials, animal health and more,” the statement explained.

The meeting of agriculture ministers continues today (Tuesday, October 20).