Author: Blanca Casares (AEIDL)
MOVING Horizon 2020 project (2020-2024) provided a contribution to the EU public consultation on the Sustainable EU food system – new initiative, opened from 28 April to 21 July 2022. This consultation aims to gather opinions and evidence from all relevant stakeholders on issues related to food system sustainability.
One of the expected impacts of MOVING is to maintain and enhance sustainable primary production, income generated from value chains and ecosystem service provision in mountain areas through appropriate policies and integrated strategies.
The project’s contribution focused on recommendations to support the development of sustainable food systems solutions in mountain areas by promoting sustainable practices and production models. MOVING believes it is necessary to:
a. Recognise that all actors are important for the transition to sustainability from the perspective of a food systems approach.
b. Ensure that authorities at national, regional and local level are responsible to guarantee that the objectives set at EU level are consistently applied.
c. Address the main obstacles in the transition to facilitate more sustainable practices: (i) unavailability of sustainable inputs for production, (ii) unfair incomes for producers, (iii) lack and loss of knowledge and advice on sustainable production practices, (iv) lack of a differentiated processing industry based on production model, (v) lack of healthy and affordable options for consumption, (vi) unfair competition and market rules, (vii) public subsidies that do not reward sustainable practices or penalise industrial models, (viii) misuse of resources and food loss and waste along the food chain, (ix) lack of good governance of food systems, and (x) policy incoherence (at EU, national and regional levels).
d. Provide effective incentives to encourage sustainable production/processing/distribution/consumption methods and techniques. For instance:
- Preservation of the natural capital and restoration to ensure healthy and resilient mountain ecosystems and support their adaptation to climate and other threats.
- Protection and enhancement of the environment, human health and animal welfare.
- Sufficiently value and remunerate public and private goods provided by mountains.
- Decrease GHG emissions, the carbon footprint of food and energy use in the food system.
- Build shorter supply chains, with fair and transparent payment conditions.
- Harmonise sustainability labelling and standards of food to facilitate healthier and more sustainable choices for consumers.
- Stop food loss and waste along the food chain.
- Provide training, information and support to all actors in the chain based on scientific evidence for the food transition.
- Recover and promote sustainable traditional knowledge and culture.
- Compensate meaningful public participation of civil society in the processes of designing, implementing and monitoring food systems policies.