This science advice will inform the development of the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy to be published this year (originally in spring) and all actions related to sustainable food systems under the ‘European Green Deal’ and beyond.

The group ‘urges the European Commission to take the lead and drive change towards a sustainable food system in the EU and beyond. We specifically recommend that environmental, social and economic sustainability are made the central objectives of all policies relevant to the food system. Food must be viewed more as a common than a consumer good, as has been the tendency in the past. In more detail, we call on the European Commission to:

  • Ensure a fully integrated approach to bring about a sustainable food system by adopting an active step-wise policy transition with responsive, learning-focused policy approaches and governance structures;
  • Address power and information asymmetries in the food system by increasing the policy focus on food manufacturers and retailers, supporting a food environment that helps citizens to make healthy and sustainable food choices, and strengthening the more vulnerable actors in the food system;
  • Use a well-balanced policy mix in an iterative, responsive and adaptive manner, considering binding policy measures as the main drivers.’

For plant scientists this is relevant as plant research and innovation can contribute as intrinsic part of crop improvement, crop management and crop processing towards sustainable food systems.

Contact for plant science contributions: Karin Metzlaff (EPSO Executive Director), Alan Schulman (EPSO President), Ulrich Schurr (EPSO Vice-President)


Towards a sustainable food system – EC website: