Thursday 20 May marks one year to the day since the Farm to Fork strategy was presented in Brussels by the European Commission.

In a joint statement from a plethora of European farm organisations, leaders say they will not celebrate the strategy’s anniversary, as it still raises too many questions in the European farming and agri-food community.

“We do not have a single doubt that the Farm to Fork strategy with its targets will have a considerable impact on the whole agricultural value chain, from farmers to our food systems and to consumers throughout the union,” the statement reads.

“We are all conscious that our food system must integrate further measures to improve its sustainability as fast as possible, while maintaining the highest quality standards and food affordability.

“Nevertheless, not only will this strategy have an impact on the environmental quality of our agriculture, but it will also impact on our production capacity, our competitiveness, our imports and, ultimately, on consumer prices.”

Insufficient studies

The leaders suggest that a comprehensive impact assessment is the appropriate way to engage in a concrete discussion on the Farm to Fork strategy.

“Such a study was promised by vice-president Frans Timmermans.

“However, although this was promised on many occasions in line with the principles of ‘good governance’ of the Commission, we now know that such as assessment will not be carried out,” the statement continues.

“In the face of the challenges posed to our food security, this neglect on the part of the commission is both incomprehensible and unacceptable.

“Individual studies on the different objectives of the strategy are not sufficient.

“It is only by cumulating and cross-checking the different targets proposed in the strategy that one can realise the real challenges posed by the strategy.”