The European Parliament has voted to proceed with its Farm to Fork Strategy, putting plans in motion for an environmentally-friendly food system with higher animal welfare standards. The move has been opposed by agribusiness lobbyists, but MEPs voted in favour of the plan which may eventually put a stop to some of the horrors of intensive animal agriculture.
“This strategy has the potential to bring our food system back within planetary boundaries by moving away from intensive livestock farming and towards more plant-based foods” – Jasmijn De Boo, ProVeg International
When in place, the Farm to Fork Strategy would trigger a shift away from intensive factory farming, backed up by the EU’s recent historic commitment to phase out cages in animal farming throughout the bloc. Animal rights advocate group Compassion in World Farming EU has strongly welcomed this outcome that; “sends a strong signal input for change to the European Commission and EU Member States.”
The new strategy emphasises how animals in intensive production systems are considerably more susceptible to zoonotic infections, greatly increasing the risk of further pandemics. It also pushes for a reduction in meat consumption and the promotion of healthier, plant-based foods.
Of course, vegans would prefer there to be no animals involved in agri-food, intensive or otherwise, but the Farm to Fork Strategy must surely be seen as a victory and a step in the right direction. Olga Kikou, Head of Compassion in World Farming EU, agrees: “I congratulate MEPs for resisting strong pressure from the greedy vested interests of the agribusiness lobby to ignore the urgency of stepping away from factory farming.”
Talking to vegconomist, Jasmijn De Boo, Vice President at ProVeg International commented: “The Farm to Fork Strategy underlines the importance of producing sustainable and healthy food to achieve climate and public health goals. It was a lengthy process which many tried to undermine. This strategy has the potential to bring our food system back within planetary boundaries by moving away from intensive livestock farming and towards more plant-based foods. A sustainable food system is crucial for Europe, its farmers and its citizens.”