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Sustainability and Welfare: EU Must Act Now

News Section Icon Published 5/16/2022

Image of cow grazing in evening sunshine
Credit: Colin Hockley

This week (16th May) we are writing to agriculture ministers across Europe urging them to implement the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy without delay, despite attempts to undermine it.

The strategy, which was adopted by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in October last year, will improve sustainability and animal welfare which is essential to creating food security. Yet, recent pressure from the agriculture lobby resulted in MEPs voting in favour of a food security resolution which dismissed the importance of sustainability and increased cashflow to the agri-food industry, threatening the Farm to Fork strategy.

Speed up implementation

We are now calling on national agriculture ministers to support the Farm to Fork strategy at the EU AGRIFISH Council meeting on 13th June to speed up its implementation to ensure greater food security and to benefit people, animals and the planet.

The UN recently warned that urgent action must be taken to limit global warming to 1.5°C, but without immediate and deep emission cuts in the consumption of meat and dairy, achieving the target simply won’t be possible. Animal agriculture causes more greenhouse gas emissions than the exhausts of all the world’s planes, trains and cars put together.

Reminder to fix broken food system

Olga Kikou, our Head of EU, said: “The best way to ensure food security now and for future generations is to create sustainable food systems that benefit people, animals, and the planet. The EU’s Farm to Food strategy will achieve this so we’re calling on the agriculture ministers to speed up its implementation.

“The Ukraine war is actually a stark reminder that our broken food system needs to be transformed urgently to one that can carry us through these kinds of crises and provide long-lasting food security. Shifting to plant-based diets with only moderate amounts of animal protein has the potential to reduce agricultural land use by up to 60%. This land could then be used to rewild natural ecosystems, promoting biodiversity and removing years’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.

“The shift is crucial for a healthier, and more sustainable food system that will help stem the climate crisis rather than fuelling it.”

Read more about the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy