Policy brief: Food for the circular economy
This policy brief, produced by the PBL – the Netherlands environmental assessment agency, investigates the integrated approach that would be needed to making the food chain more circular. In a circular food chain, raw materials are used in a way that adds the most value to the economy and causes the least harm to the environment.
With a growing population and increasing affluence the need for a more circular food chain increases. This policy brief distinguishes three challenges: sustainably managing resources, limiting food waste and optimising residual streams. The food system makes heavy demands on agriculture, the environment, trade, green growth, industry and innovation. This report proposes an integrated approach to making the food chain more circular and it provides new input for the implementation of the Dutch Government-wide programme for a circular economy.
Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.