286 organisations urge Commission President to stick to Sustainable Food System Law timeline

Political resistance against sustainable food policies is threatening to derail the process for an EU Sustainable Food Systems Law. Against this backdrop, 286 organisations have issued an open letter urging European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to ensure the Commission proposal is presented by September 2023, as planned.

Joint open letter on the need for a strong proposal on an EU legislative framework for sustainable food systems.

Brussels, 10 February 2023

Dear President von der Leyen,

Cc: Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Commissioners Stella Kyriakides, Janusz Wojciechowski and Virginijus Sinkevičius

We, the undersigned organisations, are writing to urge you to ensure that a strong proposal for an EU legislative framework for sustainable food systems is presented by September 2023.

While some stakeholders and policy-makers are instrumentalising the current geopolitical context to weaken the Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy, we would like to reiterate our full support for the publication of this proposal. The new legal framework should set a clear path for the transition to a sustainable EU food system and anchor the objectives of the F2F strategy into law by including all the actors in the food supply chain.

This framework law will represent a key political achievement and an important legacy for your Commission mandate, and it is critical to achieving EU international commitments and the European Green Deal.

Furthermore, it has the potential to enable all EU citizens to access more equitable, healthy and environmentally friendly food by fostering food environments that nurture people’s health and protect the planet. Making healthy and sustainable food the easiest and most affordable choice is therefore key to the effective implementation of the F2F strategy, as it will help consumers and the food industry support sustainable producers.

Biodiversity loss and climate change are serious threats to food security and require immediate action, as the European Commission emphasises in its analysis “Drivers for food security”. It is evident and scientifically proven that their impacts are already hampering our capacity to produce and access food. Strengthening environmental and social sustainability will increase the resilience and security of our food system to external shocks.

For these reasons, the European Commission must keep environmental and social sustainability at the centre of the policy debate around food, agriculture and fisheries. We acknowledge that this transition will present its own challenges and might create some resistance, but the EU and the rest of the world cannot bear the cost of inaction.

This framework is a unique opportunity to address the shortcomings of our food system that this Commission cannot afford to miss.

Yours sincerely,

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