Options for sustainable food and agriculture in the EU

This report focuses on options for increasing agricultural productivity whilst adapting to the effects of climate change and reducing emissions from agriculture, the means of reversing continued declines in farmland biodiversity, the reduction of food wastage, ways to achieve a more resource-efficient food sector, and the options for using wastes and residues to meet biomaterial and bioenergy needs in a sustainable way. It brings together some of the analysis and results of five commissioned studies in a synthesis, considering the state of play today and some of the key developments on the horizon moving towards 2050.

The European Union has strongly developed common environmental and agricultural policies, and a recently reformed Common Agricultural Policy with a greater emphasis on both the environment and innovation, providing Member States with an opportunity to initiate a change in direction. At the same time, there are major challenges to increasing productivity in an appropriate way whilst reducing damage to European agricultural and natural resources and biodiversity. It will be important to produce more with less in Europe and to cut wastage.

This synthesis and the five detailed studies were presented in a workshop at the European Parliament, hosted by the MEPs of the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel who commissioned the work, and attended by around 100 people from farmers associations, food companies, supermarket chains, NGOs, policy staff and researchers from Commission and Parliament, and students.

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