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Sustainable Food Systems: Does the EU ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy have all the answers?


Sustainable Food Systems: Does the EU ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy have all the answers?

The EU food supply chain, from agriculture and food and drink manufacturers to food and drink retailers, employs 23 million people. As the sector strives to move towards more sustainable food systems and implementing the United Nations SDGs, it faces growing challenges such as climate change, resource depletion, and malnutrition, all affecting the sector and society alike.

Sustainable food systems can only be achieved through a holistic, fair, and coordinated approach. Food and drink manufacturers thus need to engage and co-operate with all actors throughout the food supply chain and beyond, at national, regional and global level to be able to effectively contribute to this transition.

On the one hand, food and drink manufacturers need to review their business models and strategies, alongside the whole agri-food chain, to ensure that sustainability becomes a strategic priority. They need to accelerate efforts towards greater sustainability building on achievements to date, both within or outside their operations. On the other hand, they have a role to play in encouraging and supporting healthier and more sustainable consumption patterns whilst continuing to meet consumer demands and societal expectations.

All this will only be possible if there are supportive market conditions, financial support and policy and regulatory frameworks in place to help overcome potential barriers and foster innovative actions.

Join this EURACTIV debate to discuss an effective transition towards more resilient and sustainable food systems in line with the SDGs and what the future links will be between food, people and the planet. Panel 1 will address the production side; panel 2 will address the consumption side. Questions will include:

- How can cooperation between farmers and the food and drink industry help create more sustainable food systems? And how can the industry encourage and support more sustainable farming with a focus on climate change?
- What role for sustainable global sourcing, including the responsible and efficient use of raw materials and a circular economy?
- How can business generate inclusive and sustainable growth and support more sustainable trade?
- Which R&I pathways can support the transition towards sustainable food systems?
- How best to support healthier and more sustainable diets and lifestyles?
- How can the Commission's 'European Green Deal' and the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy help a faster transition towards sustainable food systems?

Supported by:


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Sarah Wiener MEP, Member AGRI Committee, Greens Group, European Parliament
Olivier De Schutter, Co-chair IPES-Food & former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food
Hélène Simonin, Director of Food, Environment and Health, European Dairy Association; Chair, Sustainable Food Systems Working Group, FoodDrinkEurope
Annette Toft, Chair of Working Party on Food stuffs, Copa Cogeca


Lukas Visek, Member of Cabinet of Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, European Commission
Sabine Jülicher, Director, Food and feed safety, innovation, DG SANTE, European Commission
Bart Vandewaetere, Vice-President of Corporate Communications and Government Relations, Nestlé
Monique Goyens, Director General, The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)
Célia Nyssens, Policy Officer for Agriculture, European Environmental Bureau (EEB)


Dave Keating, Journalist, EURACTIV


16:30 – 17:00 Registrations
17:00 – 18:00 Panel 1: Food and drink production
18:00 – 19:00 Panel 2: Food and drink consumption
19:00 – 20:00 Networking cocktail


Simona Ovesea
+32 (0)2 788 36 86

Related article

Europe aims to make its food a global green standard, despite trade concerns

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Ahead of a much-anticipated ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy to accompany the EU Green Deal, some EU policymakers say Europe’s food should be protected from American pressure.

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