Changing Europe’s food systemEthical Food & Drink News & Features
WWF today calls on the European Commission to develop a clear plan for a healthy and climate-friendly European food system by 2030, in collaboration with the LiveWell for LIFE project.
Some relatively small changes in diet would see results such as lower greenhouse gas emissions, healthier populations eating less (and better) food and less food waste.
Having consulted with the public in 2013 on what to include in its plans, the EU has so far failed to publish its Communication on Building a Sustainable European Food System, thereby holding up progress on a strategy that addresses the environmental impacts of food.
LiveWell for LIFE
WWF and LiveWell for LIFE want to see change because:
- Europe is the biggest importer and exporter of food
- 30% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions are food related
- Eating animal products accounts for 46% of Europe’s water consumption
- Half the European population is obese or overweight
- A third of food produced for humans is lost or wasted
‘The EU promised to publish Building a Sustainable European Food System last year, and has so far failed to do so. Without it, the development of a clear policy on how to build a sustainable food system is held back, and cooperation between European stakeholders from different sectors is also stalling.
‘WWF and LiveWell for LIFE call for publication of this Communication as soon as possible so that progress can be made.’
Duncan Williamson, food policy manager at WWF-UK
A call to action
WWF and LiveWell for LIFE today issue a call to action to the desks of European Commissioners. Supporting the call to action are Members of the European Parliament’s major parties, a wide range of civil society organisations from health, animal welfare and environment sectors, as well as several companies from all the major food sectors, such as Alpro, Marks & Spencer, Nestlé, Sodexo, and Unilever.
‘A big majority of civil society, businesses and national governments across Europe wants the European Commission to act on food sustainability. The European Commission’s First Vice-President Timmerman’s team should bring together all these partners to work towards a fairer, healthier and more competitive food system that respects the limits of the planet.
‘In 2015 Europe will make important commitments for global sustainable development and climate action. None of them will be achieved without acting on food.’
Tony Long, WWF European policy office director
LiveWell for Low Impact Food in Europe (LiveWell for LIFE) was launched in 2011 with the aim of contributing towards a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the European Union food supply chain to below 1990 levels by 2020 – in line with international agreements. Its partners are WWF-UK, WWF European Policy Office and Friends of Europe.