Farm to Fork Strategy encourages plant-based diets

Cows eating

The European Commission (EU) recently published a “Farm to Fork Strategy” which aims to encourage a shift toward plant-based diets. The plan proposed that $11 billion be used for research into sustainable food sources, including meat substitutes and other plant-based protein foods.  This provides a major commercial opportunity for Europe to encourage these industries as part of the economic recovery from the Covid-19 recession.

It was hoped that the plan would include a commitment to cease the spending of millions of Euros each year that support animal-based agriculture, which is responsible for roughly 70% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. But the plan was modified at the last minute to state that the EU will “use its promotion program to support the most sustainable, carbon-efficient methods of livestock production”

Joanna Swabe, of the Humane Society Europe, said “It is, however, lamentable that the EU has partly kowtowed to a factory farming industry that is wholly based on a high-volume, low-price production model routinely propped up by government subsidies.  If we want to save the planet, we need to stop producing so much meat and dairy…We should be supporting farmers to transition to new crops and production models, to grow the peas and pulses and vegetables at the heart of rocketing demand for plant-centric diets”

While we’re disappointed that they didn’t go further, we are glad that the EU has taken one small step toward encouraging more plant-based foods to help save the planet.  We wish that the US Department of Agriculture had the foresight and courage to take similar steps.