Motion for a resolution - B9-0164/2022Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the need for an urgent EU action plan to ensure food security inside and outside the EU in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

16.3.2022 - (2022/2593(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Anja Hazekamp
on behalf of The Left Group

Procedure : 2022/2593(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on the need for an urgent EU action plan to ensure food security inside and outside the EU in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine


The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in particular Articles 11, 13, 39, 168(1), 169(1), 191 and 192(1) thereof,

 having regard to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals,

 having regard to the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,

 having regard to the Convention on Biological Diversity of 1992 and the associated Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety of 2000 and Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation of 2010,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 8 March 2022 entitled ‘REPowerEU: Joint European Action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy (COM(2022)0108),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 20 May 2020 entitled ‘A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system’ (COM(2020)0381),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 20 May 2020 entitled ‘EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 – Bringing nature back into our lives’ (COM(2020)0380),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 28 November 2018 entitled ‘A Clean Planet for all – A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’ (COM(2018)0773) and to the in‑depth analysis in support of that communication,

 having regard to its resolution of 20 October 2021 on a farm to fork strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system[1],

 having regard to its resolution of 9 June 2021 on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030: Bringing nature back into our lives[2],

 having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[3],

 having regard to its resolution of 28 November 2019 on the climate and environment emergency[4],

 having regard to the European Environment Agency report of 4 December 2019 entitled ‘The European environment – state and outlook 2020’,

 having regard to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report of 2018 on global warming of 1.5 °C, its fifth assessment report of 2014 and synthesis report of 2014 thereon, its special report of 2019 on climate change and land, its special report of 2019 on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate, and its sixth assessment report of 2022, including part two thereof on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability,

 having regard to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services global assessment report of 31 May 2019 on biodiversity and ecosystem services,

 having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU,

 having regard to the conventions and recommendations of the International Labour Organization,

 having regard to the revised European Social Charter of the Council of Europe of 3 May 1996,

 having regard to the European Pillar of Social Rights,

_ having regard to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas of 28 September 2018,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Russian Federation launched an illegal invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 in a blatant violation of the UN Charter and the principles of international law;

B. whereas consumers around the world are facing the prospect of higher food prices and greater food insecurity as a result of the war in Ukraine, as wheat, other grains and edible oil exports from Ukraine and Russia come under threat;

C. whereas even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, global agricultural markets saw a rise in prices, partly because of the effects of the climate crisis and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; whereas rising energy prices in Europe are having a significant impact on the agricultural sector, with increased fertiliser prices and higher energy costs for farmers;

D. whereas the price of energy has skyrocketed, reaching a record 40-year high; whereas food prices have also already increased as they are inextricably linked to fossil fuel prices; whereas due to the impact of the war food prices are expected to increase even further;

E. whereas the war in Ukraine reveals how vulnerable current food supply chains are; whereas European primary food production is highly dependent on imports from Ukraine and Russia; whereas both Ukraine and Russia play a very important role in global agri-food trade, both in developing countries in Africa and the Middle East, where consumer food prices are already escalating, and in Europe, where the impact is mostly on feed for livestock farming;

F. whereas Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat; whereas Ukraine is the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil, the fourth-largest exporter of corn and the fifth-largest exporter of wheat; whereas the war in Ukraine will further disrupt global markets for cereals and oilseeds and will have negative consequences for global grain supplies in the short term; whereas wheat and oilseed imports from Ukraine alone account for 19 % of total EU wheat imports and 13 % of total EU oilseed imports; whereas an extended conflict in Ukraine could limit the world’s supply of staple crops such as wheat, corn and sunflower oil; whereas this could jeopardise global food security and heighten geopolitical tensions;

G. whereas the EU is heavily reliant on Russian fossil fuels; whereas some 90 % of the gas used in the EU is imported, with Russia providing 45 % of those imports at various levels to EU Member States in 2021; whereas Russia was also Europe’s largest supplier of oil at 27 %, more than three times the next largest (Norway); whereas this external dependence on energy directly affects agricultural production;

H. whereas EU imports of nitrate-based fertilisers originate mainly from Russia, Egypt and Algeria; whereas since 2010, ammonia has largely been imported into the EU from Russia (50 % of total EU imports on average); whereas phosphate-based products are mainly sourced from Morocco (22 % of total EU imports); whereas exports of diammonium phosphate from Morocco and Russia to the EU increased significantly to account for 70 % of all EU diammonium phosphate imports in 2017; whereas potassium chloride imports to the EU mainly come from Russia and Belarus; whereas compounds of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) fertilisers are mostly imported from Russia and Norway; whereas as of 2015, Russia has surpassed Norway to become the largest exporter to the EU;

I. whereas the Russian aggression towards Ukraine necessitates the decisive and rapid elimination of the EU’s dependence on imports of fossil fuels, notably from Russia;

J. whereas rising fossil fuel prices have a particularly severe impact on energy-poor or vulnerable households, which spend a high share of their total income on energy bills, transport and food, exacerbating the disparities and inequalities inside and outside the EU and increasing the risk of poverty;

K. whereas food security does not only mean the availability of food supplies, but also includes, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the right to food and the accessibility of healthy nutrition for all; whereas food sovereignty does not only mean self-sufficiency of food, but also refers to the right of all people to define their own agricultural and food systems;

L. whereas many scientific studies show that intensive agriculture in Europe is driving biodiversity loss, polluting our water, soil and air, and contributing to climate change; whereas the studies highlight that we are already outside the safe operating space for humanity regarding biodiversity loss, the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, and climate change;

M. whereas the Commission communication on the farm to fork strategy sets out a holistic approach to the European food system, with agriculture as a provider of food as a central element, and recognises the interconnectedness of all actors throughout the supply chain and their shared responsibility in achieving the strategy’s objectives, as well as the key role of farmers in delivering public goods, including in the fight against climate change;

N. whereas sustainable agriculture means farming in sustainable ways to meet society’s current food and textile needs, without compromising the ability of current or future generations to meet their needs;

O. whereas the way in which we produce and consume food, beverages and other agricultural products needs to be adapted in order to be consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and EU policies and commitments; whereas these changes should also achieve a solid balance between the three pillars of sustainability, including the environment, climate, biodiversity, public health, the affordability of food, animal welfare, and economic sustainability for farmers, fishers and actors further along the food chain, as well as upholding social aspects such as working and employment conditions and health and safety standards;

P. whereas healthy ecosystems, abundant biodiversity and a stable climate are essential for the production of food and for food safety; whereas Parliament has declared a climate and environmental emergency;

Q. whereas human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people beyond the natural variability of the climate; whereas climate change and these increasingly frequent and intense extreme events have also reduced food and water security, hindering efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals;

R. whereas although agricultural productivity has increased overall, climate change has slowed this growth over the past 50 years globally; whereas more frequent meteorological and extreme climate events have exposed millions of people to acute food insecurity and reduced water security, with the most severe impacts observed in many locations and communities in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, small islands and the Arctic;

S. whereas although food production today is sufficient to satisfy global needs, approximately 11 % of the world’s population is undernourished and whereas diet-related disease accounts for 20 % of premature mortality, as a result of both undernourishment and obesity; whereas the great expansion in the production of food, feed, fibre and bioenergy has occurred at the expense of many other of nature’s contributions to quality of life, including the regulation of air and water quality, climate regulation and habitat provision;

T. whereas there are also synergies at play such as sustainable agricultural practices that enhance soil quality, thereby improving productivity and other ecosystem functions and services, such as carbon sequestration and water quality regulation;

U. whereas around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of the drivers of biodiversity loss; whereas without such action, there will be a further acceleration in the global rate of species extinction, which is already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than it has averaged over the past 10 million years;

V. whereas it is crucial and urgent to accelerate the green transition to reduce emissions, reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels, increase the resilience of our food systems and protect against price hikes and poverty;

W. whereas the Green Deal is at the core of the EU strategy to meet its climate goals; whereas agriculture, especially in the context of the biodiversity strategy and farm to fork strategy, plays a crucially important part in achieving these goals;

X. whereas it is essential to implement the Green Deal and the farm to fork and biodiversity strategies; whereas there is no evidence to suggest that lowering ambition at this time will lead to better food security or sustainability in the long run – quite the contrary;

Y. whereas lasting disruption to trade in grains that will be particularly important as feed for the meat and dairy sectors in the months to come reveals the fragile and unsustainable nature of the livestock farming system which, given its dependence on imported feed, is the ‘weakest link’ of the EU’s food security;

Z. whereas on average, 12.85 kilograms of feed is needed to produce 1 kilogram of meat; whereas it is more efficient to grow and use crops for direct human consumption than for feeding livestock;

AA. whereas the cereals that are available should be used as efficiently as possible by stimulating the growing and use of crops for direct human consumption and limiting the amount of crops fed to livestock;

AB. whereas a revolutionary shift towards plant-based agricultural practices and consumption patterns would reduce the dependence on imported animal feed and help to maintain food security as well as achieve higher environmental and animal welfare standards and play a crucial role in truly achieving food and nutritional security worldwide;

AC. whereas organic farming is an agricultural system that uses ecologically-based pest controls and biological fertilisers derived largely from animal and plant waste and nitrogen-fixing cover crops;

AD. whereas the EU is the world largest exporter of agri-food; whereas the EU is generally self-sufficient in agricultural products that can be produced in European climatic zones and is not overly dependent on food imports that could potentially undermine its food supply, with the exceptions of oilseeds and meal imported for animal feed;

AE. whereas in just over a decade, several million farms in the EU – more than a third of all farms in Europe – have ceased to exist, the vast majority of which were small family businesses, as a result of the upscaling and intensification of the agricultural system;

AF. whereas estimates show there are significant challenges in addressing food waste with about 30 % of the total food produced lost or wasted at different stages in the food chain; whereas around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted in the EU every year at an estimated cost of EUR 143 billion; whereas reducing food waste is an important element in improving the EU’s food security;

1. Believes that global food security is an issue of the utmost urgency for the EU and the developing world and calls for immediate and continual action to ensure food security for EU citizens and at a global level; stresses that quality food should be available to consumers at reasonable prices, while also ensuring a fair standard of living for farmers; recalls that the main driver of food insecurity is not a lack of food but inequality of access;

2. Stresses that the right to food is a basic and fundamental human right that is achieved when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to suitable, safe (in terms of health) and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and preferences for an active and healthy life;

3. Expresses concern at the short- and long-term consequences of the war in Ukraine for food security in Europe and worldwide; stresses that such consequences include the disruption of agricultural activities and trade flows, higher commodity and energy prices and a deteriorating economic situation in general; points out that an estimated 11 % of the EU population – 49 million people – are unable to afford a quality meal regularly and that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting higher food prices will exacerbate financial difficulties for many European households; stresses that food poverty requires an appropriate policy response; calls on the Member States to develop plans in the framework of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived and implement ambitious, concrete measures to ensure that vulnerable people will not disproportionately suffer from the crisis, and reduce to zero as soon as possible the number of EU citizens who are unable to afford a quality meal on a regular basis;

4. Highlights that the availability of food is generally not a major challenge in the EU, while issues such as food waste, overconsumption and obesity, as well as the environmental footprint of European households’ food consumption, are more significant challenges facing the EU food system today;

5. Underlines the urgent need for ambitious action to tackle climate change and environmental challenges, to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 °C, and to avoid massive loss of biodiversity;

6. Underlines that halting human-induced climate change and ensuring the protection and restoration of biodiversity are crucial for safeguarding EU and global nutritional security;

7. Stresses that a truly sustainable food system is a prerequisite for securing the supply of safe and healthy food in the long term and that food security and food sustainability are interrelated and interdependent;

8. Decisively reaffirms its support for the ambitions, objectives and targets of the Green Deal and the farm to fork and biodiversity strategies and calls for additional commitments to strengthen these strategies with public policy instruments in order to facilitate the necessary transition towards more resilient agricultural production based on an agro-ecological model which is less dependent on imported inputs;

9. Is deeply concerned about current discussions on the re-evaluation of some of the agricultural elements of the Green Deal, which risks fundamentally undermining future progress in achieving its objectives; demands that the Commission abide by the agreed commitments of the Green Deal and fully implement the agreed goals, targets and ambitions of both the biodiversity and farm to fork strategies, as they are crucial to the future sustainability, security and resilience of our food system;

10. Stresses that the fragilities brought to light by the current crises need to be addressed holistically; urges the Commission to fast-track its work on its proposal for a legislative framework for a sustainable food system and publish a legislative proposal in 2022;

11. Stresses that a strong and sustainable agricultural sector across the EU and a thriving and sustainable rural environment, supported by a strong common agricultural policy (CAP), are vital components in meeting the food security challenge; stresses that the current CAP, which is dominated by intensive farming models, damages the environment and contributes to climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, soil erosion, water scarcity, as well as water and air pollution; underscores that agriculture has important value for the EU and its political and economic development and has a huge impact on society through food production, rural employment, the economic vitality and quality of life in rural areas and rural development more generally;

12. Affirms that the EU has a duty to ensure food security for its citizens and that continuing farming activity in the EU is key in this regard; draws attention to declining farm incomes in the EU, caused by rising production costs and price volatility, which have a negative impact on farmers’ ability to maintain production;

13. Stresses the need, in the light of the hostilities in Ukraine and the disruptions to global production chains and increased price volatility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to develop autonomy and self-sufficiency for the EU and its Member States in order to reduce dependency on imports of critical goods such as plant-based protein sources; reiterates that agri-food systems must be acknowledged as a crucial aspect of the autonomy and self-sufficiency of the EU and its Member States in order to ensure sufficient availability of safe and good-quality food and maintain functioning and resilient food supply chains and trade flows during future crises, in line with Article 2(1) of the Paris Agreement;

14. Highlights that poor people in developing countries are the most exposed to the negative impact of the current price volatility and food crisis; calls on all Member States, in this context, to redouble their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular by significantly increasing the share of official development assistance dedicated to agriculture and their support for the food security support schemes managed by the World Food Programme and for bilateral aid;

15. Emphasises the need for action to promote sustainable farming, reduce the use of and risks associated with pesticides, protect and restore soil ecosystems, and increase landscape features on farmland that support the recovery of species and habitats protected under the EU Nature Directives, including pollinators and their habitats; recalls that agricultural productivity and resilience is dependent on the sustainable management of natural resources to guarantee the long-term sustainability of our food systems;

16. Takes the view that EU agriculture must be reoriented away from its current industrial model to one that respects the planetary boundaries in which it operates, with less and better livestock production based on sustainable practices; emphasises that the EU’s industrial, export-oriented agricultural production does not serve the interests of small and medium-scale farmers and is harmful to the environment, biodiversity and animal welfare;

17. Welcomes the Commission’s recognition of organic farming as one of the strong components on the EU’s path towards more sustainable food systems and its ambition to increase the share of agricultural land under organic farming in the EU by 2030; underlines that the majority of Member States have already adopted targets to increase the amount of agricultural land under organic production; looks forward to the analysis of the organic sector in the overall impact assessment of the strategy and stresses the importance of the European action plan for organic farming in increasing its uptake; underlines that the development and growth of the organic sector must be accompanied by policy measures and supply chain developments and measures stimulating further demand for organic food and ensuring consumer trust;

18. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote local and organic food and short food supply chains, including increased consumption of sustainably and regionally produced plants and plant-based foods, and to address the overconsumption of meat, dairy and ultra-processed products, as well as products high in sugar, salt and fat, which will also benefit nutritional security, the environment and animal welfare;

19. Recalls the importance of a high-quality animal welfare system, including in transport and slaughter; emphasises that a high level of animal welfare is integral to sustainable development and is essential for superior food quality, which facilitates healthier nutrition, meeting the requirements of consumers and contributing to biodiversity conservation; emphasises the need for a coherent and harmonised approach for a sustainable food system, treating human health, the environment, biodiversity, animal health and welfare and climate in a holistic and joined-up manner;

20. Underlines the importance of ensuring the security and diversity of seed and plant propagation material in order to provide stable yields and plant varieties that are adapted to the pressures of climate change, including traditional and locally-adapted varieties and varieties suitable for organic production and low-input farming systems, while ensuring full transparency and freedom of choice for farmers and consumers, and access to genetic resources;

21. Points out that extensive and permanent grassland-based, silvopastoral or organic animal husbandry, which often involve pastures of high environmental value, are key features of the European food system and that its quality schemes are a defining element of many traditional rural communities, allowing them to make productive use of land that would otherwise have been abandoned; underlines that this form of land-based, low-density agricultural production can have multiple positive effects for the environment and the conservation of cultural landscapes, helps to protect rural areas from depopulation and abandonment, helps to mitigate climate change, and contributes to a circular economy and the restoration of biodiversity and must, therefore, be supported and encouraged; emphasises that support should be given to farms that are making the transition to more sustainable forms of production and moving away from farming practices such as high-density stocking and crop monocultures;

22. Stresses the need for Member States to enhance adaptation to climate change in agriculture and forestry, notably by using the eco-schemes under the new CAP reform; stresses that adaptation measures should aim to increase sustainability from both an environmental and an economic point of view; urges the Member States to implement natural risk mitigation strategies in order to limit the negative consequences of natural disasters on agricultural production;

23. Notes that in its sixth assessment report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change particularly stresses the need to avoid maladaptation, as maladaptive responses to climate change can create lock-ins of vulnerability, exposure and risks that are difficult and expensive to change, exacerbating existing inequalities and eroding the preconditions for sustainable development; stresses that these actions reduce space for natural processes and represent a severe form of maladaptation for the ecosystems they degrade, replace or fragment, thereby reducing their resilience to climate change and limiting the ability to provide ecosystem services for adaptation; calls for effective ecosystem-based adaptation options to be integrated throughout the agricultural sector, together with supportive public policies, in order to enhance the availability and stability of food, restore and protect ecosystems, and reduce climate risk for food systems while increasing their sustainability;

24. Stresses the importance of using agro-forestry and forest curtains to reduce the pressure on natural forests, help tackle climate change and increase productivity, and promote alternatives to the use of fertilisers in agricultural production; encourages the Commission and the Member States to develop tools in their future national strategic plans to encourage reforestation and afforestation and to promote sustainable agroforestry, including silvopasture where possible; calls on the Commission to promote EU-wide specialised training programmes in order to make farmers aware of the benefits of integrating woody vegetation into agriculture; highlights that the restoration and rejuvenation of existing agroforestry systems, as well as the establishment of new ones, would contribute to the biodiversity strategy’s target of 3 billion trees, serving both biodiversity and climate objectives as well as the objective of diversification and circularity;

25. Calls on the Commission to ensure that Member States, when drafting their CAP strategic plans, take on board the new reality in which we now operate, and tailor and amend their plans accordingly to support sustainable food production and short supply chains; stresses the key role of integrated pest management in reducing pesticide dependency and urges the Member States to ensure it is applied and that its implementation is assessed and monitored systematically; calls on the Member States to convert the general principles of integrated pest management into practical and measurable criteria and to verify these criteria at farm level, and calls on the Commission to ensure that Member States effectively implement these principles through their CAP strategic plans;

26. Stresses that the CAP and the national strategic plans should support farmers in the transition towards climate neutrality and biodiversity conservation, and calls for the rapid implementation of eco-schemes which include a funding mechanism to help farmers transition away from animal agriculture and towards plant-crop farming in order to ensure a healthy and sustainable future; calls on the Commission to ensure that the national strategic plans are indeed in line with the agreed ambitions;

27. Calls for an integrated agricultural model based on a broader platform of sustainable food and farming policy with the aim of combining agricultural production and support for farmers with food and environmental policies designed to ensure more sustainable food production and consumption, thereby contributing to the EU’s food security and ensuring consistency with the Green Deal and the EU’s obligations under the Paris Agreement; calls on the Commission to only approve CAP national strategic plans that clearly demonstrate a commitment to sustainability from economic, environmental and social perspectives and that are in line with the objectives of the Green Deal, the relevant EU-wide targets and the Paris Agreement;

28. Stresses that the EU rapidly needs to reduce the use of pesticides and move to ecological farming and a sustainable system of food production in order to rapidly reduce energy use and reduce the immense costs resulting from the harmful effects on human and animal health and in order to drastically reduce the burden on the environment, with particular regard to pollinators; reiterates its support for quantifiable targets to reduce the use and risks of pesticides;

29. Reiterates its support to halve nutrient losses and cut fertiliser use and believes that this should be legally binding; stresses the immensely valuable contribution this will have to immediately reduce the use of fossil fuels, especially imported gas from Russia; emphasises the importance of pursuing these targets through holistic and circular approaches to nutrient management, such as agro-ecological practices, which can deliver co-benefits for soil quality and biodiversity and help farmers end their dependency on mineral fertilisers;

30. Highlights the importance of ecological focus areas for biodiversity, including pollinator health, and strongly denounces the proposals for the temporary use of plant protection products in ecological focus areas that are suitable for growing protein crops for the duration of the crisis;

31. Reiterates its commitments to food safety and stresses that all imported food and feed needs to live up to the EU food safety standards, including maximum residue levels of pesticides and antimicrobials; denounces all proposals to misuse the current crises to weaken these requirements and commitments;

32. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take measures to stimulate the growing and use of crops for direct human consumption and to limit the amount of crops fed to livestock, thereby increasing the efficiency of our food system and contributing to food security;

33. Strongly believes that a reduction in livestock numbers in the EU is necessary in order to save and make optimal use of existing agricultural areas by shifting production from feed to food by producing less meat and dairy products; calls on the Commission and the Member States to take measures to reduce the number of animals bred and kept for farming purposes in order to anticipate the reduced availability of imported crops; calls for measures to ensure that the biggest industrial livestock farms are obliged to reduce the numbers of animals, which is necessary to ensure food security in these times of crisis;

34. Underlines that substituting fossil fuels with bio-methane produced from manure in intensive livestock systems is increasing the dependence on this unsustainable and inefficient form of agriculture; stresses that a further lock-in on massive imports of feed and the containment of millions of animals in closed barns in order to be able to process their manure should be avoided; calls for the swift adoption of stringent sustainability criteria for the production of bio-methane; calls for industrial crops used for bio‑methane production and other biofuel production to be redirected towards food production;

35. Stresses the need for urgent and bold policy and legislative change in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence of the unsustainability of the current food system and the higher costs of a failure to act, paying full regard to the welfare of farm animals, given that this is integral to food sustainability; recommends that this should include measures to stimulate the adoption of higher animal welfare standards, a reduction in the amount of farm animals and stocking densities and, at the same time, an increase in the production and consumption of plant-based products;

36. Stresses that reducing food waste will not only lead to positive effects on the environment but will also lead to improved food security in the EU; reiterates its call for the required measures to be taken to achieve an EU food waste reduction target of 30 % by 2025 and 50 % by 2030 compared with the 2014 baseline and calls on the Commission to speed up its work on revising the date markings in order to prevent food being wasted in households;

37. Calls on the Commission to develop an action plan, accompanied by appropriate measures, to assist farmers in Ukraine with sustainable food production, both in the short and the long term, based on the ambitions and goals of the Green Deal and in line with the EU’s food safety, animal welfare and sustainability requirements;

38. Recognises that the liberalisation of trade in agricultural food products and agricultural primary commodities has exposed small-scale farmers, both in the EU and in developing countries, to many new challenges; takes the view that, in order to guarantee food security and strengthen food sovereignty, all international trade rules and agreements should take into account the impact on agriculture and access to food;

39. Strongly condemns the activities of speculators on global commodities, agricultural raw materials and energy, which are helping to accentuate the volatility of food prices and deepen the global food crisis; stresses that it is not acceptable that the hunger of some makes the profit of others and calls for adequate regulation and effective oversight at national and international level to prevent speculation from violating the right to food;

40. Calls for the EU to take concrete action against poverty by adopting a coherent strategy and policies encompassing the areas of trade and development and the CAP in order to avoid direct or indirect negative impacts on developing countries’ economies;

41. Stresses that unfair trading practices are a serious problem in the agricultural sector; notes that the Commission’s report of 29 January 2016 on unfair business-to-business trading practices in the food supply chain confirms that those practices can occur at every stage of the food supply chain;

42. Points out that the problem is particularly evident in the food supply chain, having adverse effects on the weakest link in the chain; highlights that the problem is attested to by all entities in the food supply chain and by many national competition authorities; stresses that the Commission, Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee have repeatedly drawn attention to the problem of unfair trading practices;

43. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


Last updated: 17 March 2022
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