Bijdrage mili­eu­com­missie over de voed­sel­ze­kerheid


16 januari 2023

Anja Hazekamp (PvdD):

Food is a human right. The crises of today, and of the recent past, caused a renewed interest and concern for food security in the EU.

It would not be the first time that external crises are abused, to promote economic interest. This time it is no different. A few years ago it was the COVID outbreak which was used in efforts to delay the Farm2Fork Strategy. This time, Russia’s violent aggression is used to try to delay the legislative proposals stemming from that same strategy.

It is important that we do not let these forces win. Because the way in which food is currently produced and consumed causes grave damage to nature, the environment, animal welfare, and human health.

Our current food system unfortunately serves the fast, big money, and the handful of big multinationals that largely control the global food market. These are the forces that reject change.

Our food system should be at the service of citizens and farmers worldwide, and work together with nature, instead of against it. It is our responsibility to make sure that we do achieve that just transition towards sustainable food sovereignty.

And therefor I reiterate my full support for the ambitions, targets and goals of the Farm2Fork, biodiversity and zero pollution strategies. I welcome the published and announced legislatives proposals, included those related to the reduction in the use of pesticide. I am glad that ENVI is contributing with an opinion to the Committee on Agriculture's own-initiative report, because we know that, unfortunately, the short-term interests often prevail there.

I would like to thank the Commission for the study, it has now published on the drivers and threats to food security. The conclusion is, and this may not surprise any of us: without a healthy environment, there is no food security. Without a strong political action to conserve and restore nature and biodiversity, food security and the right to food will be irreversibly and dangerous. Ironically, precisely those forces claiming that they are concerned about food security, are the ones endangering it. But trying to sabotage the highly needed transition for sustainable food system and by trying to sabotage political actions to keep our planet liveable for us and for future generations.

As eloquently put in the Commission’s study: “the drivers of climate change, biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and resource scarcity are some of the biggest threats facing humanity in the next decades. The costs of inaction hugely outweigh the costs related to the transition. A precondition for food security is an agricultural- and food system that is sustainable across all dimensions – economic, environmental, and social.”

For my draft opinion, I could only select a small sample of the many important issues related to food on which ENVI has competencies. It is obviously too limited, and I very much look forward to working with you all on extending it. Today, I hope to get an idea of the priorities you as shadow would like to see highlighted in our opinion.

Closing remarks:

I want to thank all of you for your valuable comments. I’m very happy with the high level of ambition expressed by all the shadow rapporteurs and thank you for the high quality of the debate. I’m sure we will manage to agree on ambitious and meaningful compromises.

I have heard many really good points about soils, pesticides, food waist, methane, fertilizer, social and gender dimensions and many more. So I look forward to your amendments and I have taken good notes of your priorities.