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From Farm to Fork

The six main goals

From Farm to Fork - The Main Objectives
Retail & Consumer Goods
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Part 2: Implementation Measures and Funding Initiatives

Click here for Part 1: From Farm to Fork - Context, need for action and the vision of a sustainable food system in the EU

At the heart of the European Green Deal the "From Farm to Fork" strategy encompasses the vision of a sustainable food system within the European Union (EU) and affects many areas of daily life due to the ubiquity of food. This results in a large number of objectives and measures that are necessary for a change in the food system. In this context, the Commission has defined six main objectives for "shaping a food supply that benefits consumers, producers, the climate and the environment" (Communication from the Commission on the Farm to Fork Strategy, p.5).

Goals and Measures

The six main objectives each include a variety of different measures, some of which are outlined below as examples:

  1. Ensuring sustainable food production
    Many factors play an important role in ensuring sustainable food production. Chemical pesticides and excess nutrients pollute the soil, water and air and therefore have a negative impact on biodiversity. The incorrect use of antimicrobial agents in animal and human medicine is at the expense of human lives. In this context, the Commission aims to reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides, nutrient losses while maintaining soil fertility and overall sales of antimicrobials by 50% by 2030. At the same time, the Action Plan for Organic Farming, which was presented by the Commission in March 2021, aims to ensure that at least 25% of agricultural land in the EU is farmed organically by 2030. Other important initiatives in this context include the expansion of renewable energies, the revision of animal welfare regulations and the regulation on feed additives and the improvement of plant protection.
  2. Ensuring food security
    Climate change and the loss of biodiversity are threatening food security. Sustainable food systems should be able to ensure a sufficient food supply at all times in times of crisis. The measures in this context include the assessment of the resilience of the food system and the development of an emergency plan to ensure food security in Europe in times of crisis, which was published by the Commission in November 2021.
  3. Promoting sustainable practices in the food processing, wholesale, retail, hospitality and catering sectors
    Consumers' eating habits are influenced by various measures taken by the food industry, food service providers and retailers. These actors therefore play a key role in improving the availability and affordability of healthy and sustainable food, thereby reducing the environmental footprint of the food system. To promote this and steer companies' business practices in a sustainable direction, the Commission is taking measures to develop an EU code of conduct for responsible business and marketing practices with a corresponding monitoring framework. For example, the creation of nutrient profiles can help to restrict the advertising of foods with poor nutritional values in this context. In addition, the Commission aims, among other things, to make the sustainability aspect mandatory in the corporate strategy of players in the food industry in order to improve the corporate governance framework in this respect. Other important measures include the revision of marketing standards and legislation on food contact materials and the strengthening of the legal framework for geographical indications on food.
  4. Promoting sustainable food consumption and facilitating the transition to a healthy and sustainable diet
    Food consumption is neither sustainable nor healthy. Healthy, nutrient-rich foods are not consumed in sufficient quantities, whereas red meat, sugar, salt and fats are consumed in excess. To promote the consumption of healthy and sustainable food, the Commission proposes mandatory nutritional labeling on the front of food packaging as a measure. The information provided should make it easier for consumers to choose healthy food when buying, which should improve the health and quality of life of people in the EU. At the same time, the availability and price of sustainable food should be made more attractive. The Commission proposes to achieve this, for example, through tax incentives in the form of a more targeted use of VAT rates by reflecting the actual cost of food, including its potentially negative environmental effects, in the price.
  5. Reducing food loss and waste
    Food losses and food waste have various causes and affect both the industrial production and private consumption of food. One important cause of food waste, for example, is the use-by and best-before dates, which lead to the disposal of edible food due to incorrect knowledge. This must be avoided, especially as less waste leads to a greater quantity of surplus food, which can then be redistributed sensibly. Food losses of an industrial nature should also be investigated and prevented. In this respect, the Commission sees it as its duty to halve per capita food waste at retail and consumer level by 2030.
  6. Combating food fraud along the food supply chain
    The Commission is taking tough deterrence and control measures to combat food fraud in order to prevent consumers from making poor decisions when buying and consuming food. In cooperation with various Member States, Europol and other bodies, it will use EU traceability data and alerts to curb food fraud. This should enable a level playing field for all businesses and ensure food safety and the sustainability of food systems.

In general, the "From Farm to Fork" strategy comprises a large number of measures that vary in their precision by the Commission. While some measures were implemented with quantifiable targets and concrete plans, other measures have a more general, less defined character. In this context, the Commission had already set itself the goal in the middle of last year of evaluating the measures taken with regard to the intended target achievement and, if necessary, adding further measures. For example, according to the Commission's attached action plan, a proposal for a framework for uniform food labeling is still pending for 2024.

Support for Implementation

The Commission is investing in various areas to drive change. To this end, for example, it provides funding under Horizon Europe a research and innovation budget of 10 billion euros for food, economy, natural resources, agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, and the environment. It is also intended to promote the use of digital technologies and nature-based solutions in the agricultural and food sector. The research mission in the area of soil health and food will achieve the desired goals and develop solutions. 


In addition, partnerships in the field of innovation, such as the "European Innovation Partnership", are to be strengthened, and the technical framework improved through the expansion of fast broadband internet in rural areas to integrate new technologies such as artificial intelligence into agricultural practice in a beneficial way. For the exchange of knowledge and know-how, the Commission is promoting systems for knowledge and innovation in agriculture that address the players in the food environment. 


At the same time, the EU is striving to transform its information network for agricultural accounting into a data network for the sustainability of agricultural businesses. This will allow the collection of performance data on various sustainability strategies and the comparison of countries in this regard. Other funding projects in this area include the development of green alliances for sustainable food systems and cooperation with third countries in key areas of the sustainability strategy.


Further measures will undoubtedly follow in the future, as the topic of sustainability is more important today than ever before. The food environment offers many opportunities for sustainable action, both on an individual level by choosing sustainable food in the supermarket and on a collective level by creating sustainable food systems.

As an IT service provider, we can help companies in the food industry to digitize their processes, creating the information basis for sustainable optimization opportunities and thus paving the way for transparent food production and distribution.

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Communication from the Commission on the Farm to Fork Strategy, COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS of May 20, 2020 on "From farm to fork" - a strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system, retrieved 01.03.2024

European Commission, Farm to Fork strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system, Information page, last accessed 29.04.2024

Council of the European Union, "From the farm to the table", Information page, last accessed 29.04.2024

Written by

Tiny_Photo Yaren Keskin
Yaren Keskin
Expert on sustainability in retail and the consumer goods industry