The Sustainable Food Systems Framework Law: a binding initiative taking a systems approach to food production, distribution and consumption
The Sustainable Food Systems Framework Law aims at making the EU food system sustainable and to integrate sustainability into all food-related policies.
Here are our main recommendations:
The definition of sustainability must recognise the necessary connection with animal welfare and address the transformation of animal agriculture. Because of this interconnectedness the Sustainable Food Systems Framework Law should:
- Include animal welfare in its definition of a sustainable food system
- Address the transformation needed from intensive animal agriculture into agroecological farming with high animal welfare, more plant-based production for human consumption and alternatives such as cultivated meat
- Acknowledge the significant positive impact of the transformation from intensive animal agriculture to more plant-based food production
The law should drive food environments with high animal welfare as the starting point and make the healthy, sustainable choice the easy one by setting mandatory minimum sustainability criteria for public food procurement, increasing the share of plant-based foods and sourcing animal products with high welfare standards (“less and better”) in line with the EAT-Lancet Planetary Health Diet.
In addition, to truly create a favourable food environment, it is necessary for the Sustainable Food Systems Framework Law to contribute to a food environment that makes it easier to choose healthy, sustainable food, avoiding the promotion of animal products, and making the plant-based choice the most readily available and affordable.
The Sustainable Food Systems Framework Law should ensure that food imported into the EU meet the same high standards that bind EU producers, establishing the principle that trade preferences granted in trade agreements should be conditioned to the respect of EU-equivalent standards.
The law should achieve systemic change in how food is produced by incentivising higher animal welfare and plant-based production through financial support as well as innovation in cultivated meats and other alternative proteins (fungal and microbial proteins for instance).
The law should also avoid putting food production for people in competition with feed production for animals and pushing novelties that lock the EU into unsustainable farming models, such as the use of insect protein in feed (around a third of insect producers use commercial feed which includes soy).Further details in our detailed consultation feedback.