Sustainable Food Systems

On 27 May 2020, the European Commission published the Farm to Fork Strategy Communication. The European feed industry plays a key role in achieving the ambitions of more sustainable food systems. 

FEFAC welcomes the EU Commission’s willingness to strengthen food security at both global and EU level and to bolster the resilience of EU agriculture and food systems in its communication on FTF & Biodiversity. The EU feed industry has proven its capacity to secure essential feed supply to chain partners enabling them to continue to provide products of animal origin to EU consumers during the COVID-19 crisis. This has been carried out under very challenging conditions and in close cooperation with key supply chain partners and the EU Commission.

FEFAC fully agrees with the Commission analysis of the central role of the Common Agricultural Policy as the key policy delivery mechanism to provide safe, sustainable and affordable food to EU Consumers. As world leaders in animal nutrition efficiency, we also share the high level of ambition of the EU Commission to meet climate change targets, providing opportunities for EU agriculture and livestock production by offering incentives to produce “more with less”.

No food system can be sustainable without the production of farm animals, due to their essential role in transforming low value human inedible feed materials into high value nutritious food via milk, meat and eggs to consumers. At the same time farm animals provide highly valued organic fertilisers to arable crops, making them a key component of sustainable food systems based on the Circular Economy principles. The feed industry’s role is to provide optimised animal nutrition, reduced nutrient losses, improved animal health and welfare and increasing environmental performance of animal production systems, via precision feeding systems and the adoption of new technologies.

FEFAC is however deeply concerned about the potential adverse impact of some of the key policy orientations included in the FTF and Biodiversity strategies setting conflicting targets which may impair the EU’s food production capacity, thus undermining food security. We therefore stress the importance of a thorough impact assessment, prior to any specific legislative measures, in line with better regulation practices. We believe this approach to be crucial to ensure policy coherence at EU and national level, in particular regarding the EU’s objective to raise the production and competitiveness of home-grown vegetable proteins.