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European Union food system

10-09-2020

The European Union (EU) food system is a complex and integrated structure of sectors whose governance is ensured by various EU sectoral policies. Its strengths and weaknesses became evident during the coronavirus crisis: food supplies were assured but the pandemic also revealed where action is needed to avoid disruptions threatening food supply. The recent launch of the EU 'Farm to Fork' strategy provides a first attempt at a common EU food policy, outlining the way forward for all food-related sectors ...

The European Union (EU) food system is a complex and integrated structure of sectors whose governance is ensured by various EU sectoral policies. Its strengths and weaknesses became evident during the coronavirus crisis: food supplies were assured but the pandemic also revealed where action is needed to avoid disruptions threatening food supply. The recent launch of the EU 'Farm to Fork' strategy provides a first attempt at a common EU food policy, outlining the way forward for all food-related sectors. It aims to bring sustainability to the heart of each step of the food chain and constitutes a framework for any further plans. This Briefing sets out the progress to date towards an EU food system and the issues posed by the current coronavirus crisis. The table at the end of the text explores a range of ongoing or potential initiatives for a sustainable EU food system in the future.

Research for AGRI Committee - Policy support for productivity vs. sustainability in EU agriculture: Towards viable farming and green growth

16-01-2017

This study presents the main trends in total factor and resource productivity in recent decades. The main pathways for sustainable intensification are explored through case studies and policy analysis. The paper presents a normative analysis of policy tools able to reconcile productivity and sustainability requirements and also provides policy recommendations to promote a resource-efficient, productive, climate-friendly and resilient EU agricultural sector.

This study presents the main trends in total factor and resource productivity in recent decades. The main pathways for sustainable intensification are explored through case studies and policy analysis. The paper presents a normative analysis of policy tools able to reconcile productivity and sustainability requirements and also provides policy recommendations to promote a resource-efficient, productive, climate-friendly and resilient EU agricultural sector.

Zunanji avtor

Annalisa Zezza, Roberto Henke, Mara Lai, Gaetana Petriccione, Roberto Solazzo, Alberto Sturla, Anna Vagnozzi, Silvia Vanino, Laura Viganò, Bert Smit, Ruud van der Meer and Krijn Poppe,Marcos Lana, Meike Weltin, Annette Piorr

Organic production and the European Union

16-02-2015

Organic agriculture views itself as respecting natural cycles by refraining from the use of genetically modified organisms, by limiting the use of synthetic chemical products and by ensuring animal welfare. Organic production, regulated and supported at EU level, is controlled, certified and labelled. The specifications list also adapts to different kinds of production. Initially a niche market, organic agriculture now represents a European market worth more than EUR 22 billion a year, with demand ...

Organic agriculture views itself as respecting natural cycles by refraining from the use of genetically modified organisms, by limiting the use of synthetic chemical products and by ensuring animal welfare. Organic production, regulated and supported at EU level, is controlled, certified and labelled. The specifications list also adapts to different kinds of production. Initially a niche market, organic agriculture now represents a European market worth more than EUR 22 billion a year, with demand continuing to increase. The organic sector, seeking a vision for the future, must respond to certain challenges, particularly in its coexistence with conventional agriculture, but also in terms of producer and consumer confidence in the system and its values, in a context of growing international exchanges. In March 2014, the European Commission proposed to revise the entire legislative framework of the organic sector, in particular with the aim of reducing the current derogation practices, reviewing the control system and the import regime, simplifying the legislation and cutting down on the red tape. Some initial reactions to these proposals seem rather critical. The first reading legislative appraisal has started in the European Parliament, but the announcement of the new "Juncker Commission" of its intention to withdraw this proposal by mid-2015 should an agreement not be reached by then could change the context.

Organic Production and Labelling of Organic Products: Initial Appraisal of the Commission's Impact Assessment

15-07-2014

This briefing seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying its proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on organic production and labelling of organic products (COM (2014) 180), which was adopted on 24 March 2014. It does not attempt to deal with the substance of the proposal and is drafted for informational and background purposes to assist the AGRI committee and its Members in their ...

This briefing seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying its proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on organic production and labelling of organic products (COM (2014) 180), which was adopted on 24 March 2014. It does not attempt to deal with the substance of the proposal and is drafted for informational and background purposes to assist the AGRI committee and its Members in their work.

CAP 2014-2020 Tools to Enhance Family Farming: Opportunities and Limits

15-04-2014

Family farming is the predominant business model in European agriculture. The key challenges faced by family farms are considered in this briefing note and the effectiveness of policy measures in the EU, both the current measures and those agreed for the 2014 to 2020 period, in tackling these challenges is examined. The main conclusions are that Pillar I policies have transferred substantial funds to family farms and have ensured the survival of many farms that would have otherwise gone out of business ...

Family farming is the predominant business model in European agriculture. The key challenges faced by family farms are considered in this briefing note and the effectiveness of policy measures in the EU, both the current measures and those agreed for the 2014 to 2020 period, in tackling these challenges is examined. The main conclusions are that Pillar I policies have transferred substantial funds to family farms and have ensured the survival of many farms that would have otherwise gone out of business. However, the more targeted policies contained in Pillar II have been, and continue to be, more effective in addressing the specific challenges facing Europe’s family farms.

Zunanji avtor

Thia Hennessy (c/o Teagasc, Athenry, Co Galway, Ireland)

Options for Sustainable Food and Agriculture in the EU (Synthesis of the Project 'Technology Options for Feeding 10 Billion People')

15-11-2013

How should Europe respond to the increased demands on our food and agriculture systems arising from global population growth, changing diets, and competing demands on agricultural land? This report offers a view on how the EU could play a role in meeting these challenges in the coming decades and sets out some of the options which merit particular attention. It focuses on options for increasing agricultural productivity whilst adapting to the effects of climate change and reducing emissions from ...

How should Europe respond to the increased demands on our food and agriculture systems arising from global population growth, changing diets, and competing demands on agricultural land? This report offers a view on how the EU could play a role in meeting these challenges in the coming decades and sets out some of the options which merit particular attention. It focuses on options for increasing agricultural productivity whilst adapting to the effects of climate change and reducing emissions from agriculture, the means of reversing continued declines in farmland biodiversity, the reduction of food wastage, ways to achieve a more resource-efficient food sector, and the options for using wastes and residues to meet biomaterial and bioenergy needs in a sustainable way. It brings together some of the analysis and results of five commissioned studies in a synthesis, considering the state of play today and some of the key developments on the horizon moving towards 2050. The European Union has strongly developed common environmental and agricultural policies, and a recently reformed Common Agricultural Policy with a greater emphasis on both the environment and innovation, providing Member States with an opportunity to initiate a change in direction. At the same time, there are major challenges to increasing productivity in an appropriate way whilst reducing damage to European agricultural and natural resources and biodiversity. It will be important to produce more with less in Europe and to cut wastage.

Zunanji avtor

Evelyn Underwood, David Baldock, Harry Aiking, Allan Buckwell, Elizabeth Dooley, Ana Frelih-Larsen, Sandra Naumann, Clementine O’Connor, Jana Poláková and Graham Tucker

Food Security in a Just Food System

08-11-2013

Hundreds of millions of people live in food insecurity, lacking nutritious food and the means to develop their resilience to natural and man-made disasters and shocks. Obstacles to improving the situation are numerous and include climate change and resource scarcity, poor regulations and rights-based considerations, insufficient human and technical capacities and training. Nevertheless, it is possible to produce enough food for all and to build a more sustainable and just food system. For this to ...

Hundreds of millions of people live in food insecurity, lacking nutritious food and the means to develop their resilience to natural and man-made disasters and shocks. Obstacles to improving the situation are numerous and include climate change and resource scarcity, poor regulations and rights-based considerations, insufficient human and technical capacities and training. Nevertheless, it is possible to produce enough food for all and to build a more sustainable and just food system. For this to happen, small-scale, sustainable agriculture must be developed and strengthened. Private finance across the food system will play an increasingly important role in this process. But for the livelihood and resilience of agricultural producers to be ensured, investments must be responsible and combined with targeted and inclusive initiatives.

The Environmental Role of Protein Crops in the New Common Agricultural Policy

15-05-2013

This study provides an overview of the development and environmental effects of protein crop production in Europe. Nine policy options for supporting protein crops are presented: six inside the CAP, and three outside. We recommend an integrated policy approach combining the inclusion of protein crops into greening measures, investment in research and constraints on the use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. We conclude that increasing the production of protein crops would be an important contribution ...

This study provides an overview of the development and environmental effects of protein crop production in Europe. Nine policy options for supporting protein crops are presented: six inside the CAP, and three outside. We recommend an integrated policy approach combining the inclusion of protein crops into greening measures, investment in research and constraints on the use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. We conclude that increasing the production of protein crops would be an important contribution to the sustainable development of European agricultural and food systems.

Zunanji avtor

Andrea Bues, Sara Preißel, Moritz Reckling and Peter Zander (Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research - ZALF) , Tom Kuhlman (Agricultural Economics Research Institute - LEI) , Kairsty Topp and Christine Watson (Scotland's Rural College - SRUC) , Kristina Lindström and Fred L. Stoddard (University of Helsinki - UH) and Donal Murphy-Bokern (Kroge-Ehrendorf, Lohne)

Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy

07-03-2013

Subject to the ordinary legislative procedure, the reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is under discussion in the Council and Parliament. The plenary is to consider negotiating mandates for the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development under Rule 70a on the four main legislative proposals of the CAP reform package.

Subject to the ordinary legislative procedure, the reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is under discussion in the Council and Parliament. The plenary is to consider negotiating mandates for the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development under Rule 70a on the four main legislative proposals of the CAP reform package.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

01-09-2010

The CAP has been at the centre of European integration since the Treaty of Rome. The specific objectives of the CAP, as enshrined in the Treaties, have remained unchanged for more than fifty years. The upcoming reform of the CAP for the post-2013 period represents a politically sensitive issue. On the one hand, this is due to the considerable budgetary amounts involved. On the other hand, the imbalanced distribution of CAP payments between Member States has particularly been questioned. Organic farmers ...

The CAP has been at the centre of European integration since the Treaty of Rome. The specific objectives of the CAP, as enshrined in the Treaties, have remained unchanged for more than fifty years. The upcoming reform of the CAP for the post-2013 period represents a politically sensitive issue. On the one hand, this is due to the considerable budgetary amounts involved. On the other hand, the imbalanced distribution of CAP payments between Member States has particularly been questioned. Organic farmers may receive support from the two pillars of the CAP (mainly agri-environmental payments, from the second pillar).

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