Knowledge for better food systems

Report from Compassion in world farming on sustainable food

The European Commission was due to publish a Communication on Sustainable Food in 2013 to “assess how best to limit waste throughout the food supply chain, and consider ways to lower the environmental impact of food production and consumption patterns”.  This long-awaited Communication has still not been published.

As an attempt to partially fill this gap, the animal welfare organisation Compassion in World Farming has published a report entitled “A Sustainable Food Policy for Europe -Towards a sustainable, nourishing and humane food policy for Europe and globally”. This sets out the organisation’s view on what the Communication (as and if it is published) should be saying.

The report primarily focuses on the role of livestock in the food system and argues that industrial livestock production is resource-inefficient, harmful to human health, damaging to land, soils, water and biodiversity and responsible for very poor animal welfare. 

The report is available here and the executive summary here.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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