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BirdLife demands a truly sustainable ‘Sustainable food system law’

Our food system, the ways in which we produce food, is in grave danger due to both the climate crisis, and the alarming rate biodiversity is being wiped out. Shifting towards different consumption patterns is crucial not just for our food system, but in order to stop overstepping (or better, overeating) our planetary boundaries.

As part of its Farm to Fork Strategy, the EU is in the process of developing a ‘Sustainable food system law’, which will be adopted by the end of 2023. This law aims to accelerate our transition to a sustainable food system and will include rules on sustainability, the labelling of food products, on criteria for sustainable consumption and demand, and on food governance and monitoring. In practice, this means the law should promote more plant-based diets and end the hand-out of subsidies to damaging industrial livestock practices.

Today, the European Commission closes its public consultation of the sustainable food system law. This public consultation gave the public and all relevant stakeholders an opportunity to provide their input on what a sustainable food law should, or should not look like.

In our response, BirdLife demands a law that sets out strong principles, clear objectives and serious, binding targets, considering long-term impacts instead of solely short-term economic wins. The law needs to consider the food system in its whole, from demand and production to consumption, with all the steps in between. It is of the uttermost importance to hold all the different stakeholders of the food chain accountable. Each of them has responsibilities and duties to co-create a sustainable food environment. As such, the stranglehold some actors (not to name the industrial agricultural lobby) has on hindering this process cannot be tolerated anymore.

Equally important is that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will have to conform to the guiding principles of the Sustainable Food System law by rewarding those farmers that are boosting nature-friendly practices. Working with nature is the only way to maintain healthy and sustainable ecosystems, on which we all depend.

Picture credits: Viktor Kochetkov/ Shutterstock

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Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.