Strengthening sustainable food systems: insights for a new regulation

The EU CAP Network has published a briefing on policy insights to strengthen the food system in a sustainable way.

The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the European Green Deal aiming to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. 2023 is the year when the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy aims to confirm policy proposals for establishing an EU legislative framework covering sustainable food systems.

In July 2022, BEATLES formulated a contribution to the EU public consultation on the Sustainable EU food system – new initiative. The aim of this public consultation was to gather opinions and evidence from all relevant stakeholders on issues related to food system sustainability. BEATLES contribution focused on recommendations to encourage long-term and large-scale transitions to sustainable, productive, and climate-smart agri-food systems.

In this context, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) plays many instrumental roles in supporting Member States’ transition to sustainable food systems. For that, debates continue on how the CAP can be better used to safeguard EU food supplies. Cooperation in the area of sustainable food systems has been the subject of an earlier Policy Insight article, in which attention was drawn to the potential of networking CAP actors using CAP Strategic Plans (CSPs) to reinforce food system resilience.

Conclusions from EU CAP Network thematic work on Sustainability Agreements highlighted the application of an integrated and inclusive value chain approaches that build business resilience by cost reductions through collective actions and capitalising on sustainable use of local natural assets.

Other useful insights on opportunities from Sustainability Agreements underscored the benefits from seeking fair prices through peer-learning, market transparency, and long-term commitment.

Findings from this CAP networking activity are informing new EU guidelines that will be published later in 2023.