The Conference on the Future of Europe (COFE) has called for a shift to sustainable diets, plant-based eating, and increased animal welfare. The citizen-led EU initiative enables people from across the bloc to propose ideas, with a transition to a more sustainable food system high among citizens’ concerns.
The COFE is based on a series of discussions featuring citizens and EU representatives, from which the urgency to shift to a more sustainable food system has arisen. The conference heard about the importance of promoting plant-based diets during the discussions, including fostering knowledge and creating awareness on how reducing the consumption of animal products promotes climate protection and the preservation of the environment.
As well as organic farming and sustainable agriculture, according to Compassion in World Farming EU, animal welfare was also perceived in the discussions as a key component to attaining sustainability in food production, using provisions such as clear labeling systems, and setting high standards for both farming and the transport of animals. The COFE findings will now be presented to the Joint Presidency in Strasbourg.
The COFE has demonstrated that sustainable and animal-friendly agriculture is expected by the majority of EU citizens. Some EU leaders are already listening, with the Danish government investing over $100 million to promote climate-friendly plant-based foods, while the German Health Minister has called for an 80% cut in meat consumption.
“The Conference on the future of Europe has given the floor to EU citizens’ to express, once more their concerns regarding our current food system. We expect that these legitimate and timely asks are turned into tangible political provisions by the EU institutions,” commented Olga Kikou, Head of Compassion in World Farming EU.