Sustainable and overarching European food policy has long been a focus for European decision-makers and the European Committee of the Regions brings forward its contribution to not only build a comprehensive food policy but at the same time contribute to the fight against climate change, preserving biodiversity and the environment, the improvement of health and nutrition facts as well as create jobs and growth.
The opinion proposes the development of standardised definitions, methodologies and practical measures to provide transparent and harmonised information and good practices towards sustainable food production. It encourages the use of “green” public procurement guidelines, to help public and private organisations to purchase foods on the basis of sustainable criteria and promotes the healthy functioning of ecosystem services that sustain agricultural productivity and its resilience.
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I firmly believe we must all adhere to a more sustainable system of agricultural production. At a time when there is so much debate around climate change, it is more vital than ever that Europe holds the line in this global existential challenge. And, in addressing that challenge, agriculture must play its full part. We have to ensure that food is produced more sustainably. We have to encourage smart farming that can, for example, make the best use of chemical inputs, contributing to soil and groundwater protection and air quality, while increasing production efficiency.