Knowledge for better food systems

Re-rooting EU food supply: beef, soy and palm oil

This report from NGO Friends of the Earth Europe examines how European demand for beef, soy (as animal feed) and palm oil is linked to deforestation in the Global South. It outlines the limitations of sustainability certification schemes, and makes policy proposals that focus on food sovereignty.

The recommendations of the report include:

  • Renegotiate international trade agreements to reduce trade of products that contribute to deforestation or habitat degradation
  • Use a land footprint indicator to limit European consumption of natural resources to no more than the equivalent land area available in Europe
  • Remove European Union subsidies for industrial livestock production
  • Require large companies to carry out a supply chain risk assessment regarding human rights and environmental impacts
  • Require European investors and banks to monitor their environmental and human rights impacts
  • Integrate agroecology into the new EU Common Agricultural Policy

Read the full report, Re-rooting EU food supply: Towards healthy forests and social justice, here. See also the Foodsource building block Soy: food, feed, and land use change and the article “European Green Deal” to include “Farm to Fork” strategy.

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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.

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