05 September 2023

The EU needs to publish ambitious Sustainable Food Systems framework before end of Commission’s mandate

160 organisations have written a joint letter to Ursula von der Leyen urging the European Commission to publish an ambitious Sustainable Food Systems Law, and stand by its commitment to an environmentally and animal friendly, fair and healthy food system.
Download joint letter

Text of the Joint Letter:

Dear President von der Leyen,

We, the undersigned organisations, and distinguished academics, are writing once again to call upon you to ensure that an ambitious proposal for an EU legislative framework for Sustainable Food Systems (FSFS) is presented before the end of your Commission’s mandate.

In light of the upcoming European elections, we want to express our utmost concern regarding the delay of essential policies related to priority commitments in your mandate, particularly those of the Green Deal which promise to deliver healthy and affordable food to EU citizens.

We urge you to resist misguided and short-sighted calls for a regulatory pause in the Commission’s green agenda and to move ahead as planned with the publication of the FSFS proposal. We expect this major initiative to feature prominently in your State of the Union Letter of Intent that will set out the Commission’s priorities for the remainder of its mandate.

The FSFS is the flagship of the Farm to Fork (F2F) Strategy and a central piece of the Green Deal itself. Failing to publish this law will mean failing to deliver on the EU’s climate, environment and health goals. The EU has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by the end of the decade andbecome climate neutral by 2050. Work is ongoing to set an intermediary GHG reduction target for 2040. Food businesses, retailers, farmers, consumers and policymakers need the FSFS as an enabling policy framework to empower them to play their part in the transition of the agri-food sector, which is critical to the achievement of the EU’s climate objectives.

Likewise, failing to prioritise the shift to healthy food environments and diets despite their known critical contribution to the prevention of non-communicable diseases will mean failing to deliver on essential health policies such as Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

Scientific evidence clearly backs the urgency of the transformation of our food system towards a more sustainable and healthier one, within planetary boundaries. The European Commission must keep environmental and social sustainability, as well as animal welfare, at the heart of the policy debate around food, agriculture and fisheries. The challenges ahead are not minor, and the cost of inaction in terms of biodiversity loss, extreme weather events, and subsequent damage to agricultural productivity, together with the surge of non-communicable diseases, is unaffordable.

We urge you to stand by your commitment to an environmentally and animal friendly, fair and healthy food system as set out in the F2F Strategy and present an ambitious FSFS proposal as soon as possible.

See all co-signatories in the PDF version.

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