27 octobre 2023
Press release | FIAN EUropean sections

Europe must work towards creating a social and ecological just food system that ensures the fulfillment of Human Rights

October 26th from 12.30 to 14.30h - Event at the European Parliament co-organised by the human rights organisation FIAN together with Greens/EFA MEP Benoit Biteau

Brussels, October 27th. Ninety participants -representing civil society organisations, academia, permanent representatives of Members States, private sector and Members of the Parliament- came together to ask whether “EU food systems can be sustainable without fulfilling Human Rights” in an event co-organised yesterday at the Parliament by FIAN together with Greens/EFA MEP Benoît Biteau.

Eight years ago, the EU signed the Paris Agreement, an international binding commitment to action on climate change. The Paris goals can only be met by transforming our food systems. A transition of food systems grounded on social and environmental justice objectives is key for the EU to accomplish the sustainable development goals and meet international human rights obligations.

These international commitments remind us that the survival of all of us depends on reorienting food systems in ways that preserve a healthy environment and contribute to improving the availability, accessibility and adequacy of food for present and future generations. The recognition and enforcement of farmers’ rights is also part of the equation.

The Commission was notably absent yesterday, as its representatives declined the invitation to participate. However, the Commission promised at the beginning of its current mandate to deliver on its commitment to the legislative framework for sustainable food systems (FSFS), touted as the legal backbone of its flagship Farm to fork strategy, itself a cornerstone of the EU Green Deal. The Commission’s FSFS proposal was due to be published in September this year, yet we await it still.

Following the Commission’s publication of its 2024 Work Programme last week in Strasbourg [1] and a new call for a strategic dialogue to discuss the future of agriculture, serious concerns emerged : could the issue of addressing the unsustainability of food systems be postponed until the next Commission and the legislative file simply shelved and forgotten ?

In its intervention, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment Dr. David Boyd, recalled that “the right to a healthy environment and the right to food can serve as catalysts for the sustainable changes that are so desperately needed

Almudena Garcia Sastre, from FIAN added that “the right to Food and Nutrition is inseparable from the objective of achieving a socially and ecologically just transition to sustainable food systems” .

The human rights organisation launched a legal analysis report aimed at informing EU legislators of the legal actionable tools that the normative content of the Right to Food and Nutrition can offer to shape an ambitious legislative proposal.

MEP Benoît Biteau from the Greens/EFA) declares “the balance sheet of 30 years of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the perfusion of an industrial agricultural model that does not meet the challenges of the right to food. What we need is a political will that serves the public interest".”

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