IPES FOOD (2019). Towards a Common Food Policy for the EU - The policy reform and realignment that is required to build sustainable food systems in Europe


IDDRI is a contributing partner to this report published by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES FOOD) and which maps out a single, time-bound vision for reforming European food systems under a Common Food Policy: a policy framework setting a direction of travel for the whole food system, realigning the various sectoral policies that affect food production, processing, distribution, and consumption, and refocusing all actions on the transition to sustainability.

Read the report online

Key Messages

The report puts forward 80 concrete reform proposals, including:

  • Create a European Commission Vice-President for Sustainable Food Systems and a Food Intergroup in the European Parliament to oversee & harmonize sectoral policies (CAP, trade, environment, etc.).
  • Require Member States to develop Healthy Diet Plans (covering public procurement, urban planning, fiscal and social policies, marketing & nutrition education) as a condition for unlocking CAP payments, & introduce comprehensive EU-wide restrictions on junk food marketing.
  • Introduce an EU-wide ‘agroecology premium’ as a new rationale for distributing CAP payments, rebuild independent farm advisory services, & create an EU Land Observatory to promote a major shift to sustainable farming & land use.
  • Make food importers accountable for ensuring their supply chains are free from deforestation, land-grabs and rights violations (‘due diligence’), remove investor protections (‘ISDS’) in trade agreements, and provide accessible complaints mechanisms for farmers and civil society.
  • Increase support for initiatives linking farmers and consumers (‘short supply chains’), relocalized processing and value-adding activities, local food policy councils, and urban food policies.
  • Create an EU Food Policy Council to bring the concerns of local food system actors to the EU level and ensure that EU policies are systematically designed to support the emergence of local food initiatives.