The Members of European Parliament (MEPs) voted on October 20th in favor of the Farm-to-Fork Strategy (F2F). This followed a debate that was spurred by the Joint Research Center’s Report (July 2021), concluding that the EU Green Deal and F2F will lead to better
performance of agri-food sectors in environmental terms, albeit leading to reduced food supply (e.g. -11% for cereals supply) and increased price instability on the scale of the continent.
The discussion drew heterogeneous comments and recommendations, pointing to a lack of common ground, potential solutions, and agreement among MEPs. The adoption was made
without taking full account of a comprehensive roadmap identifying multiple initiatives, while the Farmers of the Future Study (December 2020) recognizes CEA as a key element for the future of the EU's farming landscape, particularly in terms of resource efficiency, entrepreneurship, decarbonization, and climate adaptation.
Needless to say, problems will multiply over the implementation of the Strategy. "We regret the absence of key answers in the discussion preceding the adoption of F2F," FarmTech Society stated.
Contrary to what is said, it is unlikely that the F2F Strategy will attract more young farmers, as it prioritizes organic farming & the extensification of agriculture practices in rural areas, which does not create economically viable career paths with humane working conditions. CEA attracts new generations with strong interests in agri-food jobs looking for career development.
F2F solely relies on nature- and ecosystems-based solutions to offer solutions for climate adaptation/mitigation and food security. The potential of agri-tech technologies, resource efficiencies, and decarbonization solutions are not considered like CEA.
The debate addressed neither the resulting reduction of agricultural land in the EU under the Green Deal, nor the crucial role of CEA farmers during the pandemic creating sustainable and inclusive local food supply chains in (peri-)urban areas.