7. #Farmtofork: opportunities and challenges
The European Union spends around a third of its budget on agriculture and rural development. This commitment enhances Europe’s food security, supports rural livelihoods and drives food standards ever higher.
But with our food systems contributing around a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, it’s clear that moving towards a net-zero carbon continent requires a shift from intensive, polluting agriculture towards a sustainable and healthier model.
The European Commission’s Farm to Fork strategy is the EU’s proposed roadmap to that destination. Under the umbrella of the Green Deal, it aims to bring together all elements in the food chain in a way that enables Europe’s farmers to continue producing food but enhances our natural environment.
In mid-October, the Commission hosted the second annual Farm to Fork conference – an opportunity for stakeholders in every related sector to contribute to the strategy’s development, suggest improvements and outline concerns.
The seventh episode of Food for Europe looks at how the Farm to Fork vision is promoting new solutions to old problems at farm level, and how those solutions can sometimes be found from unlikely sources.
Our field report comes from an experimental pig farm in Wallonia, Belgium, where the waste from apples that other farmers throw away is being refined to exploit its antimicrobial properties, which in turn limit the need to provide the animals with preventive antibiotics.