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In its response to the public Consultation on modernising and simplifying the common agricultural policy (CAP) EPHA highlights several key requirements for a transition towards a sustainable and healthy food and agricultural system.

Here are the key points of EPHA’s response.  The full response can be found HERE and the annex HERE.

-The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has not kept up with changes in societal requirements by consistently failing to mainstream public health into its reform cycles. [1] Conducting a health impact assessment (HIA) of agricultural policy would be a significant step towards operationalising health within the CAP.

-This reform should start a transition towards a coherent food and agricultural policy framework which takes an integrated approach to the food system, achieving coherence between supply, demand and supply chain dimensions. Such policy should focus on the essential outcome of a well-functioning food system: the creation of food and drink environments that foster the uptake of sustainable, nutritionally healthy eating patterns for the entire European population.

-To achieve this, agricultural policy should be far better at linking payments to desirable results. The current incentive system in which payments are predominantly linked to the number of hectares owned is not designed to target payments to reward farms, production models or farming systems with higher performance in terms of producing public goods, like benefits to human and environmental health.

– A transition pathway towards a healthy, sustainable food systems policy should involve:

  1. Removing health-harmful subsidies
  2. Moving from hectare payments to performance incentives
  3. Fostering sustainable healthy diets

-A food and agricultural policy should positively contribute to at least the following general objectives:

  • Viable and socially equitable food and farming economy
  • Environmental sustainability, climate action and animal welfare
  • High levels of public health and consumer satisfaction
  • Transparency and a participatory approach to food policy formulation

[1] Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) mandates that “A high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities.

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