The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and sustainable diets project LiveWell for Life have called upon the European Commission to develop a clear plan for a healthy, climate-friendly food system.
The two organisations want to see “a strategy that addresses the environmental impacts of food”, leading to a new European food system by 2030.
“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,” WWF claimed. They stated that change was important for five key reasons: Europe is the largest importer and exporter of food in the world; 30% of its greenhouse gas emissions are food-related; eating animal products accounts for 46% of Europe’s water consumption; half the population is obese or overweight; and a third of food produced for humans globally is lost or wasted.
WWF UK food policy manager Duncan Williamson said: “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.”
Tony Long, director of WWF’s European policy office, added: “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.”
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