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What future for our food system?

In Europe we waste about 89 million tons of food every year. Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "This is morally and economically unacceptable and is all the more horrific when you consider the true scale of the resources required to produce those 89 million tons! We are also wasting all those resources. There's something wrong with the system."

Food is essential to life. It forms an important part of our cultural identity, and plays an important role in the economy, but a growing number of analyses question the long-term sustainability of current trends in the production and consumption of food. The food system has a significant impact on the environment through, for example, greenhouse gas emissions, the use of land and water resources, pollution, depletion of phosphorus, and the impact of chemical products such as herbicides and pesticides.

That is why the European Commission is asking for opinions about the European food production and consumption system. The consultation asks stakeholders, citizens, businesses, NGOs and public authorities for ideas on immediate action to reduce food waste and more generally on how to ensure our food system is using resources efficiently. These will provide input for a Communication on Sustainable Food later this year.

Respondents are asked what they think the priorities for action should be, how to measure the impacts of food production, the best ways of promoting more sustainable production and supply chains and more sustainable patterns of food consumption, how to prevent and reduce food waste, and what policies would be best suited to address these challenges.

by S. C.
31 july 2013, World News > Europe

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