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A transition towards sustainable food systems in Europe Food policy blue print scoping study

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

A growing number of voices – among others the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC, 2017) - have highlighted the need to change the overarching infrastructure of food-related policies. They claim that the European Union does not have a food policy . For example, the General Food Law addresses food safety issues, but not nutrition. Regulations aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of food production are not built in connection with how food is consumed. There are regulations that encourage production systems to improve product quality, but the link to sustainability is not clear. There are rules that regulate information and communication to consumers, but a reference to sustainability is missing. Common Agricultural Policy grants subsidies to 'green' production processes, but most of them concern primarily production actors. Distribution of financial resources over these instruments is largely disproportionate. Often these payments are not linked to clear outcomes and impacts. How could a food policy contribute to shaping sustainable food systems in Europe? It is time for policy makers, academics, and civil society to take a step back and reflect upon appropriate policies infrastructures for transition toward food sustainability. This challenge implies a pervasive process that addresses in a consistent and coherent way the multidimensionality of food – environmental, social, economic, health, ethical and resilience implications - and takes into consideration the reciprocal influences between production, distribution and consumption and their links with broader socio-ecological and socio-technical systems. This process should reorganize food-related policy instruments around societal goals and put in place the necessary instruments to enable the social and institutional change, overcoming barriers. This report proposes a conceptual framework and carries out an assessment of the existing policy infrastructure with the purpose of suggesting points of entry for policy-led transition towards food sustainability in Europe. The system perspective adopted allows us to apply one of the key principles of sustainable development as well as sustainable consumption and implies that policies aiming at sustainability should address consumption issues as well as production patterns. The challenge for a new policy approach is to put in place coordinated policy tools that can affect directly or indirectly this process of alignment, linking together self-responsibility with freedom to act. Rather than pursuing an ambitious program of redesign of the agricultural policy into a broader food policy, we suggest a ‘bottom up’ process of construction of a food policy mix around strategic goals aimed at the integration and coherence between policies, together with the reorganization of existing tools and the introduction of new tools to fill existing gaps. The introduction of strategic tools - such as the EU Sustainable Food Assessment and Action Plan, proposed by the EESC (2017) at the EU level, or urban food strategies at the local level - can contribute to develop new representations of the food system, update policy objectives, verify the adequacy of existing policy instruments with respect to new objectives, identify missing policy instruments and mobilize all stakeholders to build a coherent set of policies. This report lays down some criteria on which this process should be activated.
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A"transition"towards"sustainable"food"systems"in"Europe!
Food$policy$blue$print$scoping$study$
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Francesca$Galli,$Elena$Favilli,$Simona$D’Amico,$Gianluca$Brunori$
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This$ research$has$been$carried$out$by$ Francesca$ Galli,$ Elena$ Favilli,$ Simona$D’Amico,$Gianluca$Brunori,$
University$of$Pisa,$in$collaboration$with$Laboratorio$di$Studi$Rurali$Sismondi.$$
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The$research$was$commissioned$by$European$Public$Health$Alliance$(EPHA),$Friends$of$the$Earth$Europe,$
IFOAM$EU,$Slow$Food.$IFOAM$EU$and$Slow$Food$acknowledge$having$received$funding$from$the$European$
Union$under$the$ Executive$ Agency$ for$ Small$ and$ Medium-sized$ Enterprises$ (EASME)$ and$ EPHA$ in$the$
framework$of$the$Health$Programme.$$
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Whilst$grateful$to$Erik$Mathjis$(KU$Leuven),$Otto$Schmid$(Fibl),$Sébastien$Treyer$(IDDRI)$for$their$critical$
reading$ and$ helpful$ comments$ on$ earlier$ drafts$ of$ the$ report,$ all$vi ews$ contained$w ith$thi s$ report$ are$
attributable$ solely$ to$ the$ authors$ and$ do$ not$ necessarily$ reflect$ the$ views$ of$ the$ commissioning$
organisations$or$their$funders.$
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Reproduction$is$authorised$provided$the$source$is$acknowledged.$
Cite$as:$Galli$F.,$Favilli$E.,$D’Amico$S.,$Brunori$G.$A$transition$towards$sustainable$food$systems$in$Europe.$
Food$policy$blue$print$scoping$study.$Laboratorio$di$Studi$Rurali$Sismondi,$Pisa,$Italy,$2018.$
ISBN:$$9788890896040$
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Released$in$May$2018$
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On$the$front$and$back$covers:$original$pen$and$wash$by$Marinella$Cavalli,$2018$
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Table!of!Contents!
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1."Introduction!...................................................................................................................................................................!2!
2."Transition"policies"for"sustainable"food"systems!..................................................................................!3!
2.1"A"system"perspective"to"food"policies:"policy"models!.................................................................!4!
2.2"Food"systems’"outcomes"and"strategic"goals.....................................................................................!5!
3."Building"a"policy"mix"for"sustainable"food"systems!.............................................................................!7!
3.1"The"policy"toolbox:"an"inventory!..............................................................................................................!7!
3.2"The"effectiveness"of"the"policy"mix!......................................................................................................!10!
3.3"Fostering"integration,"broadening"involvement!.........................................................................!13!
4."An"assessment"of"EU"food"related"policies:"inconsistencies,"incoherencies,"policy"gaps
!..................................................................................................................................................................................................!14!
4.1"CAP"Greening!......................................................................................................................................................!14!
4.2"Nitrates"Directive!............................................................................................................................................!15!
4.3"Seed"Marketing"Directives!.........................................................................................................................!15!
4.4"CAP"Common"Market"Organization!.....................................................................................................!16!
4.5"Food"safety"and"hygiene"policy!...............................................................................................................!17!
4.6"Food"and"Drink"Labelling"policy!............................................................................................................!18!
4.7"Food"Quality"Policy!.........................................................................................................................................!19!
4.8"Public"Food"Procurement...........................................................................................................................!20!
4.9"Competition"Policy!.........................................................................................................................................!22!
4.10"Tackling"Unfair"Trading"Practices!.....................................................................................................!23!
4.11"Considerations"from"the"assessment!...............................................................................................!24!
5."Conclusions"and"recommendations.............................................................................................................!26!
6."References....................................................................................................................................................................!27!
Annex"1:"Methodology!...............................................................................................................................................!30!
Annex"2:"Assessment"of"policy"instruments!................................................................................................!35!
1."Common"Agricultural"Policy!.......................................................................................................................!35!
1a$“Greening”!...........................................................................................................................................................!36!
1b$Common$Market$Organisation!...................................................................................................................!40!
2."Nitrates"Directive!...............................................................................................................................................!44!
3."Seed"Marketing"Directives!............................................................................................................................!47!
4."European"Food"and"Drink"Labelling"Policy"for"Nutrition"and"Health!...............................!53!
5."European"Food"Quality"Policy!....................................................................................................................!59!
6."Public"Food"Procurement!.............................................................................................................................!63!
7."European"Competition"Policy:"derogations,"decisions"and"market"monitoring"
actions"for"the"food"sector!.................................................................................................................................!67!
8."European"policy"on"tackling"unfair"trading"practices"in"the"business"–"to"–"business"
food"supply"chain!.....................................................................................................................................................!73!
9."General"Food"Law!...............................................................................................................................................!77!
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1."Introduction"
In! September! 2015,! the! General! Assembly! of! the! United! Nations! approved! the! resolution
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:!
“Transforming! our!world:!the!2030! Agenda! for!Sustainable!Development”.! The!Agenda! sets!17!goals,!
among! which! goal! 2,! “End! hunger,! achieve! food! security! and! improved! nutrition! and! promote!
sustainable!agriculture”.!One!of!its!targets!is:!by$2030,$(to)$ensure$sustainable$food$production$systems$
and$ implement$ resilient$ agricultural$ practices$ that$ increase$ productivity$ and$ production,$ that$ help$
maintain$ ecosystems,$ that$ strengthen$ capacity$ for$ adaptation$ to$ climate$ change,$ extreme$ weather,$
drought,$flooding$and$other$disasters$and$that$progressively$improve$land$and$soil$quality”.!!
This!resolution!is!among!the!many!actions!launched!between!2015!and!2016!that!touch!upon!the!issue!
of! food! system! sustainability.!In! 2015,! the! Paris! Climate! Agreement
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!(COP21)! is! reached,! while! the!
General!assembly!of!the!UN!adopts!the!resolution!on!the!UN!decade!of!Action!on!Nutrition
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!(2016-2025),!
that!identifies!as!one!of!its!six!action!areas,!'sustainable!and!resilient!food!systems!for!healthy!diets'.!At!
the!European!level,!the!debate!has!flourished.!In!2016,!the!European!Political! Strategy!Centre! (EPSC)!
reflection!paper!(strategic!notes!Issue!18/2016)!sets!out!a!European!vision!for!sustainability!(so-called!
“Falkenberg!paper
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”)!including!a!vision!for!the!future!of!EU!agricultural!policy.!Hence!the!EU!provides!
an!overview!of!the!current!situation!of!the!EU! and!its!Member!States!on!sustainable!development!in!
relation!to!the!Sustainable! Development!Goals!(SDGs)
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!and!adopts! the!“Communication!on!next!steps!
for!a!sustainable!European!future
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”!that,!in!the!accompanying!Staff!Working!Document
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,!describes!the!
contribution!of!the!various!EU!policies!and!legislation!to!the!Sustainable!Development!Goals!(SDGs).!In!
this!document,!the!Commission!highlights!the!role!of!Common!Agricultural!Policy,!of!Common!Fisheries!
Policy,!the!EU!Environment!and!Climate!policy,!the!EU!Food!Policy,!the!Trade!and!Investment!Policy,!the!
EU!Research!and!Innovation!Policy.!!
What!policies!do!we!need!to!build!a!sustainable!food!system?!Why,!despite!the!intentions,!policies!show!
so!disappointing!outcomes?!Despite!these!commitments,!assessments!carried!out!in!the!last!years!have!
highlighted! a! series! of! weaknesses! of! food-related! policies!in! achieving! food! system! sustainability.!
Inconsistencies! (i.e.! policies! not! pursuing! given! objectives),! incoherencies!(i.e.! conflicting! outcomes!
between! policies)!and! policy! gaps! (i.e.! missing! policy! instruments)! have! clearly! emerged.!In! other!
words,! it! is! more! and! more! evident! that! the! explanation! of! the! distance! between! intentions! and!
outcomes! cannot!only!be!attributed! to! single! policies.! It! has! to! be! found! in! the! interrelations!among!
policies,! in!the! overall! policy! infrastructure!that!shall!link! together ! different! p olicies! and! al ign! their!
objectives,!instruments!and!implementation!measures!(Howlett!and!Rayner,!2007).!!
A!growing!number!of!voices!–!among!which!the!European!Economic!and!Social!Committee
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!(EESC,!2017)!
-!have!highlighted!the!need!to!change!the!overarching!infrastructure!of!food-related!policies.!They!claim!
that!the!European!Union!does!not!have!a! food!policy
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.!For!example,!the!General!Food!Law!addresses!
food!safety!issues,!but!not!nutrition.!Regulations!aimed!at!reducing!the!environmental!impacts!of!food!
production!are!not!built!in!connection!with!how!food!is!consumed.!There!are!regulations!that!encourage!
production!systems!to!improve!product!quality,!but!the!link!to!sustainability!is!not!clear.!There!are!rules!
that!regulate!information!and!communication!to!consumers,!but!a!reference!to!sustainability!is!missing.!
Common!Agricultural!Policy!grants!subsidies!to!'green'!production!processes,!but!most!of!them!concern!
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!http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E!!
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http://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/convention/application/pdf/english_paris_agreement.pdf!!
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!http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/259!!
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!https://ec.europa.eu/epsc/sites/epsc/files/strategic_note_issue_18.pdf!!
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!http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3217494/7745644/KS-02-16-996-EN-N.pdf/eae6b7f9-d06c-4c83-b16f-
c72b0779ad03!
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!https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/communication-next-steps-sustainable-europe-20161122_en.pdf!!
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!https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/swd-key-european-actions-2030-agenda-sdgs-390-20161122_en.pdf!!
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!http://www.eesc.europa.eu/en/our-work/opinions-information-reports/opinions/civil-societys-contribution-
development-comprehensive-food-policy-eu!!
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!http://www.ipes-food.org/images/Reports/CFP_ConceptNote.pdf!!
https://www.politico.eu/article/opinion-time-to-put-a-common-food-policy-on-the-menu/!
https://www.wur.nl/en/article/Towards-an-EU-food-policy-.htm
A$transition$towards$sustainable$food$systems$in$Europe$
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primarily! production! actors.! Distribution! of! financial! resources! over! these! instruments! is! largely!
disproportionate.!Often!these!payments!are!not!linked!to!clear!outcomes!and!impacts.!
How!could!a!food!policy!contribute!to!shaping!sustainable!food!systems!in!Europe?!It!is!time!for!policy!
makers,! academics,! and! civil! society! to! take! a! step! back! and! reflect! upon! appropriate! policies!
infrastructures!for!transition!toward!food!sustainability.!This!challenge!implies!a!pervasive!process!that!
addresses!in!a!consistent!and! coherent!way!the!multidimensionality!of!food!–!environmental,! socia l,!
economic,! health,! ethical! and! resilience! implications! -! and! takes! into! consideration! the! reciprocal!
influences! between! production,! distribution! and! consumption! and! their! links! with! broader! socio-
ecological!and!socio-technical!systems.!This!process!should!reorganize!food-related!policy!instruments!
around!societal!goals!and!put!in!place!the!necessary!instruments!to!enable!the!social!and!institutional!
change,!overcoming!barriers.!!
This!report! proposes! a! conceptual! framework! and! carries! out! an! assessment! of! the! existing! policy!
infrastructure! with! the! purpose! of! suggesting! points! of! entry!for!policy-led!transition! towards! food!
sustainability!in!Europe.!The!system!perspective!adopted!allows!us!to!apply!one!of!the!key!principles!of!
sustainable!development!as! well! as!sustainable! consumption! and!implies! that! policies! aiming! at!
sustainability!should!address!consumption!issues!as! well! as! production!patterns.!The! challenge!for!a!
new!policy!approach!is!to!put!in!place!coordinated!policy!tools!that!can!affect!directly!or!indirectly!this!
process!of!alignment,!linking!together!self-responsibility!with!freedom!to!act.!
Rather!than!pursuing!an!ambitious!program!of!redesign!of!the!agricultural!policy!into!a!broader!food!
policy,!we!suggest!a!‘bottom!up’!process!of! construction!of!a! food! policy!mix!around!strategic!goals!
aimed!at!the!integration!and!coherence!between!policies,!together!with!the!reorganization!of!existing!
tools!and!the!introduction!of!new!tools!to!fill!existing!gaps.!The!introduction!of!strategic!tools!-!such!as!
the!EU!Sustainable!Food!Assessment!and!Action!Plan,!proposed!by!the!EESC!(2017)!at!the!EU!level,!or!
urban!food! strategies!at! the! l ocal! level!-!can! contribute! to! develop! new ! representations! of! the! food!
system,!update!policy!objectives,!verify!the!adequacy!of!existing!policy!instruments!with!respect!to!new!
objectives,!identify!missing!policy!instruments!and!mobilize!all!stakeholders!to!build!a!coherent!set!of!
policies.!This!report!lays!down!some!criteria!on!which!this!process!should!be!activated.!
2."Transition"policies"for"sustainable"food"systems"
According! to! the! High-Level! Panel! of! Experts! on! Food! Security! and! Nutrition! (HLPE,! 2014),! “A$
sustainable$food$system$is$a$food$system$that$delivers$food$security$and$nutrition$for$all$in$such$a$way$that$
the$ economic,$ social$ and$ environmental$ bases$ to$ generate$ food$ security$ and$ nutrition$ for$ future$
generations$are$not$compromised”.!!
In!this!definition,!sustainability!is!inherently!linked!to!present!and!future!food!security!and!nutrition.!A!
sustainable!food!system!should!provide!food!availability!(through!production!and!trade),!access!to!food!
(both! economic! and! physical)! to!all,! it! shoul d! enable! an! adeq uate! utilizati on! of! available! food ! for! a!
healthy!life,!and!should!ensure!stability!of!these!functions,!without!compromising!the!bases!for!future!
generations.! Achieving! food! and! nutrition!security! is! a! central! priority! for!t he! sustainability! of! food!
systems!and!should!never!be!considered!in!trade-off!to!other!priorities!(HLPE,!2017).!!
The!above!definition!sets!some!basic!elements!for!sustainable!food!systems.!However,!it!leaves!space!
for!interpretation.!For!example,!what!does!‘access!to!all’!mean?!All!in!a!given!community,!or!all!in!the!
world?!What!roles!do!farmers!have!in!the!resource!base?!Which!future!generations!are!to!be!considered!
and! how! far! should! we! go! in! considering! their! interests! in! relation! to! the! interests! of! present!
generations?!Change!can!be!beneficial!for!some!social!groups,!geographical!areas,!specific!generations!
and!harmful!for!others.!The!speed!of!change!may!depend!on!power!distribution,!on!perceived!urgency,!
and!political!conditions.!The!radicalness!of!change!may!depend!on!the!initial!conditions,!on!the!level!of!
societal! consensus! around! goals,! on! the! strength! of! obstructing! power! by! social! groups,! on! the!
availability!of!feasible!technical!and!legal!solutions.!Policies!inspired!to!sustainability!need!to!conciliate!
different! legitimate! interests! and! set! priorities! between! criteria.! Along! with! changing! conditions,!
priorities!between!interests!and!sustainability!dimensions!may!be!subject!to!change.!!
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Answers!to!these!questions!pertain!to!the!political!domain.!A! commitment! to!sustainability!implies!a!
‘reflexive’!attitude,!a!disposition!to!review!objectives!and!strategies!in!relation!to!improved!knowledge!
of! the! system! (Voss! et! al.! 2006),! taking! into! account! and! looking! for! solutions! to! trade-offs,!
contradictions!and!conflicts!of!interest,!and!involving!a!plurality!of!stakeholder!in!the!process.!
For!the!mentioned!reasons,!a!policy!for!sustainable!food!systems!should!be!framed!as!a!transition!policy.!
A! transition! policy! is! more! than!an! ordinary! policy! intervention,! such! as! the! introduction! of! new!
instruments!or!a!change!in!budget!allocation!among!measures.!In!a!transition!frame,!desired!outcomes!
are! constantly! updated! and! clarified! along! with! the! unfolding! policy! processes.! A! transition! policy!
should!also!acknowledge!the!existence!of!resistances!to!change!and!“systemic!lock-ins”
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!that!constrain!
the!current!pathway!of!evolution!of!the!food!system!to!sustainability.!!
A! meaningful! example! of! lock-in! situation! is! intensive! livestock! farming! and! how! to! manage! the!
transition!of!EU!agriculture!and!agribusiness!towards!less!livestock!and!more!plant-based!production!
and!diets.!Food!system!requires!vast!disinvestments!away!from!livestock!farms,!slaughterhouses,!meat!
processing!industry,!feed!companies,!etc.!(Steinfeld!et!al.!2006).!The!debate!on!how!disinvestment!and!
transformation!is!going!to!take!place!is!open!and,!particularly!on!what!is!the!role!of!policy!herein!(see!a!
video!interview!to!Allan!Buckwell!here:!http://www.risefoundation.eu/projects/livestock!).!
A!transition!policy!should!affect!system!activities,!challenge!the!identities,!the!practices,!the!interests!
and!the!values!of!a!multiplicity!of!actors!and!administrative!bodies.!It!should!imply!a!profound!revision!
of!existing!regulatory!frames!and!their!knowledge!base.!A!strategic!policy!action!needs!to!be!designed!
to! unlock! the!system.! What!theory! of!systemic! change! guides! the! transition! policy?!how! do! current!
policies!contribute!to!this!theory!of!change?!
2.1"A"system"perspective"to"food"policies:"policy"models""
Before!we!proceed,!we!need!to!address!a!key!issue.!We!live!in!a!globalized!world,!where!all!is!connected.!
However,!local!contexts!have!specificities!that!cannot!be!represented!in!a!broader,!all-encompassing!
model.! In! other! w ords,! space!a nd!place!matt er.! Thus,! the! question! is:! do! w e! speak! about! "the! food!
system"!or!about!"a!plurality!of!food!systems"?!This!question!has!evident!policy!implications.!On!one!
side,!we! could!hardly!find!fully!self-sufficient,!local!food!systems,!disconnected!from!outside!regions,!
nor!it!is!sure!that!they!are!desirable.!On!the!other!side,!a!food!policy!for!sustainability!should!recognize!
the!right!of!local!communities!to!promote!system!goals!and!configurations!tailored!to!local!specificities.!
Rather! than! an! either/or! dilemma,! we! think! that! the! local/global! tension! can! be! solved! through! a!
multilevel!approach,!that!defines!compatibility!rules!among!levels,! so!to!recognize!both! plurality! and!
interdependence!and!providing!room!for!negotiation.!!
The! questions! above! mentioned! raise! a! more! general! issue:! policies! need!to! be! built! on! adequate!
understanding!of!the!system!on!which!they!apply,!as!the!models!on!which!understanding!is!built!have!
political! and! policy! implications.! Policies! related! to! food! –! and! knowledge! production,! use! and!
communication! around! them! -! have! been! so! far! based! on! very! partial! representations,! wherein!
economic!variables!have!an!overwhelming!weight.!The!links!between!agricultural!policies!and!nutrition!
outcomes!have!been!largely!neglected!(Hawkes,!2012),!and!the!water-food-energy!nexus–!a!promising!
concept!to!concretise!food!policy!efficiently!-!is!not!a!mature!yet!(Reinhard!et!al,!2017),!as!well!as!the!
understanding!of!indirect!impacts!of!current!consumption!on!distant!natural!systems!(see!Meyfroidt!et!
al.!2013!on!a!review!on!distant!drivers!on!land!use!change).!The!(negative)!relation!between! modern!
agriculture!and!biodiversity!is!now!well!known,!but!little!is!known!about!the!underlying!mechanisms!
(see!Henle!et!al.!2008!for!a!review).!
How!to!generate!appropriate!food!systems!models?!!
Drawing!on!a!growing!literature,!we!can!classify!the!components!of!a!food!system!into!resources,!actors,!
activities! and! outcomes.! Each! of! these! components! depends! on! the! others.! External! factors,! which!
cannot!be!influenced!or!controlled,!may!change!the!way!internal!components!interact.!
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!Socio-technical!lock!ins,!in!the!wording!of!sociology!of!innovation,!see!Smith!et!al.!2010!and!Hinrichs,!2014.!!
A$transition$towards$sustainable$food$systems$in$Europe$
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Actors,!individuals!endowed!with!freedom!to!act,!makes!the!difference!with!mechanical!systems:!their!
behaviour!can! only! be! influenced,! but! not! determined.! The! capacity! of! policies! to! influence! actors’!
behaviour,!and!therefore!systems’!outcomes,!is!related!to!the!adequateness!of!system!representations!
on!which!policies!are!based.!Adequateness!implies!both!closeness!to!actors’!perception!of!the!system!
and! scientific! robustness.! With! a! policy! based! on!a! system! representation! different! from! how! they!
perceive!it,!actors!will!be!much!more!reluctant!to!follow!new!rules,!even!if!aiming!at!improving! their!
condition.!Without!scientific!robustness,!policies!may!be!ineffective!or!even!harmful.!!
Building!a!model! for!the!food!system!consists!first!of!all!of!choosing!-!among!a!wider!set!–!resources,!
actors,!activities!and!outcomes!to!be!represented.!Different!sets!and!combinations!will!provide!different!
representations.!When!a!representation! is!created!for! policy! purposes,!the!choice! of!outcomes!to!be!
represented!sets!the!criteria!for!selection!of!actors!and!activities.!For!example,!when!emphasis!is!mainly!
on! productivity,! environmental! or! nutrition! outcomes! could! be! underestimated.! Outcomes! not!
represented! become!invisible!to!policies,!at! least!until!unintended! consequences!of! system!activities!
raise!public!attention.!!
A!second!aspect!of!building!system!representations!is!boundary!setting!that!is!classifying!represented!
elements!into!internal!and!external!ones.!When!representing!a!local!food!system,!producers!outside!the!
considered!region!are!not!excluded!from!the!representation!but!may!be!considered!external!to!it:!they!
cannot!be!controlled!nor!influenced.!Boundary!setting!also!clarifies!the!limits!of!a!policy:!food!security!
depends!on!the!activities!of!the!food!system!as!long!as!food!availability!is!concerned.!But!it!also!depends!
on! unempl oyment,! incomes,! welfar e! policies,! which! may! be! considered! ext ernal! to! the! food! system.!
When!a!generalized! economic! crisis! occurs,!even!a!well-functioning!and!environmentally!sustainable!
food!system!may!not!avoid!food!insecurity.!!
The!representation!of!a!system!for!policy!purposes!is!thus!related!to!what!can!(or!what!it!is!wanted!to)!
be!controlled!or!influenced!by!policies,!so!it!is!not!a!surprise!that!existing!system!representations,!based!
on!the!limits!of!existing!administrative!boundaries!and!competences,!tend!to!be!partial!and!inadequate.!
The!first!challenge!of!integrative!policy!approaches!is! thus!building!shared!representations! -!through!
appropriate!appraisal!methods!-!among!all!those!that!have!an!influence!on!the!system’s!outcomes.!!
2.2"Food"systems’"outcomes"and"strategic"goals"""
The! identifi cation! of! system’s! outcomes! is! key! t o! a! policy! strategy,! a s!selected! outcomes! define! the!
desired! performance! of! the! system.! Sustainability! characterizes! the! quality! of! system! outcomes.!
However,! given! that! sustainability!takes! multiple! dimensions! into! consideration,! as! well! as!future!
conditions! an d! trade-offs! between ! present! and! future! generations.! Sus tainability! impli es! a! dynamic!
interaction!between!the!goals!a!society!wants!to!achieve!and!the!constraints!to!the!achievement!of!these!
goals.!!
Sustainability!is!by!definition!a!slippery!and!contested!concept,!with!multiple!meanings!and!realities.!An!
established! understanding! considers! economic,! social,! and! ecological!dimensions! of! sustainability.!
These!three!dimensions!cover!a!plethora!of!deeply!interrelated!issues!that!are!relevant!to!assess!food!
systems’!performance
11
,!not!without!overlaps!and!trade-offs.! Nonetheless,!this! reference! framework!
needs!further!articulation!to!be!adapted!to!food!systems’!peculiarities.!!
Firstly,!health!should!be!better!emphasized.!It!is!normally!intended!as!part!of!the!social!dimension!of!
sustainability,!but!up!to!now!it!has!been!largely!neglected!when!considering!food!related!policies!(IPES!
food,!2017).!The!UN!‘right!to!food!principle’!-!endorsed!by!the!EU!–!is!defined!as!the!“right!to!an!adequate!
diet!providing!all!the!nutritional!elements!an!individual!requires!to!live!a!healthy!and!active!life,!and!the!
means! to! access! them”! (de! Schutter,! 2011).!Despite!the! principle!of!‘Health!in!All!Policies’! (Art.! 168!
TFEU),! health! is! not! always! integrated! in! policies,! and! should! be! more! explicitly! considered! as! a!
dimension!of!sustainability.!!
Secondly,!as!sustainability!is!a!principle!for!societal!change,!activities!related!to!food!should!be!assessed!
and!supported!by!policies!in!proportion!to!their!capacity!to!influence!societal!transformation!towards!
sustainability.!For!example,!it!is!well!known!that!meat!has!an!important!role!in!food!systems,!and!it!can!
11
!See!Kirwan!et!al!(2017b).!
!
6!
be!a!key!component!of!healthy!diets.!However,!it!is!also!true!that!meat!has!a!sensibly!higher!ecological!
footprint!than!plant-based! products,!and!that!average!diets!in!many!communities! are!based!on!meat!
overconsumption.!Strategies! to! improve! environmental! sustainability!of! animal!production!practices!
would!be!welcome,!but!this!could!bring! an!increase!of! meat! demand
12
.!On!the!contrary,!strategies! to!
raise!awareness!of!the!ecological!footprint!of!meat!may!address!meat!consumption.!We!call!‘ethical’!the!
property!of!the!food!system!related!to!the!capacity!to!reflect,!learn!about!consequences!of!food!system!
activities!and!act!accordingly.!!
Thirdly,! systems! cannot! be! sustainable! if! they! are! not! resilient.! Food! systems! change! in! relation! to!
external!variables.!In!order!to!preserve!their!functions!along!with!change,!food!systems!need!to!develop!
resilience!properties,!that!is!the!capacity!to!adapt!to!changing!conditions.!These!properties!are!both!
structural!and!behavioural.!!
Figure$1$-$Food$system$elements$and$outcomes$
!
These!considerations!bring!us!to!propose!six!criteria!for!food!systems’!sustainability!assessment:!health,!
ecological,!economic,!social,!ethical,!resilience.!!
Strategic!policy!goals!inspired!to!the!mentioned!criteria!are!translated!into!the!following!statements:!!!
Health:!system!activities!should!contribute!to!improving!health!and!wellbeing,!taking!into!account!
that!system!activities!affect!health!not!only!in!relation!to!access,!dietary!patterns!and!food!quality,!
but!also!through!occupational!hazards!and!environmental!contamination.!!
Ecological:!system!activities! should! contribute!to!keep! society!within! ecological! boundaries!and!
avoid!environmental!contamination.!!
Economic:! system! activities! should! ensure! that! food! business! is! economically! viable! and!
contributes!to!healthy!economies!by!creating!jobs!and! sufficient!incomes!both! in!rural!and! urban!
areas.!!
Social:!system!activities!should!provide!access!to!food!that!is!adequate!to!satisfy!the!socio-cultural!
and!nutritional!needs!of!all.!They!should!prevent!and!combat!the!creation!of!inequalities!within!the!
food! system,! ensuring! adequate! support! to! small! farmers!and! small! companies! in! the! supply!
network,! ensuring! adequate! labour! conditions! to! workers,! deliver! assistance! to! marginalized!
consumers’!groups.!!
Ethical:! system! activities! should! produce! ethically! acceptable! food! and!promote! responsibility!
among!producers!and!consumers!by! fostering!transparency,!encouraging!information!disclosure!
and!sharing,!incentivizing!people’s!participation!to!business!decisions.!!
12
!In!line!to!the!“Jevons’!Paradox”,!the!production!of!meat!with!lower!environmental!impacts!may!bring!an!increase!
in!the!overall!meat!demand,!thanks!to!lower!prices!environmental!friendly!meat!prices!(Polimeni!et!al.!2015).!
Resources
ActivitiesActors
Food system
Sustainable
diets
Outcomes
EcologicalEconomic
Health Social
ResilienceEthical
External factors
A$transition$towards$sustainable$food$systems$in$Europe$
7
Resilience:!system!activities!should!increase!or!keep!food!system!diversity,!allocate!resources!to!
crisis! management,! improve!and!knowledge!about!possible!futures,!improve!system’s!capacity!to!
innovate!for!anticipating!change.!!
Building! a! strategy! for! food!policy! around! these! six! goals! entails! not! only! an! assessment! of! the!
contribution!of!policies!to!each!dimension,!but!also!an!assessment!of!direct!and!indirect!links!between!
dimensions,!including!synergies,!trade-offs,!conflicts!of!interest!and!ethical!dilemmas.!
3."Building"a"policy"mix"for"sustainable"food"systems"
A!policy!strategy!that!addresses!a!multiplicity!of!dimensions!and!aims!at!managing!a!transition!needs!to!
integrate!a!multiplicity!of!policy!instruments!interacting!with!each!other.!It!needs!revised!priorities!for!
existing!policies,! new! policies!addressing!policy! gaps,! and!higher-level!policy!instruments!that!link!a!
plurality!of!policies!to!common!objectives.!Rather!than!discussing!policies!in!isolation,!the! policy! mix!
concept! should! be! adopted.!The! assessment! of! policy! mixes! will!look!not!only! at! the! impact!of!each!
policy,!but!also!at!its!consistency!with!given!overarching!goals!and!at!coherence!and!synergies!with!
other!policies.!!
In!this!report,!the!following!definitions!are!used:!consistency!relates!to!the!alignment!of!all!instruments!
around!given!policy!goals;!coherence!relates!to!the!capacity!of!each!policy!instrument!to!not!harm!the!
pursuit!of! other! instruments’! goal!and! incoherence! emerges!w hen! policies! (for! example,! support! to!
production)!show! unintended! consequences! (for! example,! on! resource! consumption).! Unintended!
consequences!often!become!visible!at!a!later!stage!when!evidence!of!undesired!outcomes!accumulates!
or!when!ethical!or!political!sensitiveness!changes.!In!this!case,!it! becomes!clear!that!existing!sectorial!
policies!are!not!able!to!deal!with!the!emerging!problems,!fostering!the!need!for!policy!integration.!!
3.1"The"policy"toolbox:"an"inventory"
Policies!are!implemented!through!‘policy!tools’,!which!can!affect!the!system!in!a!variety!of!ways:!these!
tools!can!be!classified!as!direct!activity!regulation,!market!based,!knowledge-related,! governance!and!
strategic!tools!(Table!1).!
!
Table$1$-$Classification$of$policy$tools$
POLICY"TOOLS!
EXAMPLES"
Direct"activity"
regulation"tools!
authorizations,!prohibitions,!limitations,!quotas,!antitrust!enforcement,!merger!control!
Market-based"tools!
subsidies,!loans,!guarantees,!insurance!schemes,!taxes,!charges,! fees,!fines,!penalties,!liability!and!
compensation!schemes,!incentives,!deposit-refund!systems,!tradable!permit!schemes!
Knowledge-related"
tools!
information,!communication,!research,!education!
Governance"tools!
shape!the!distribution!of!roles!and!responsibilities!among!actors,!!
Strategic"tools!
establish!overarching!principles,!objectives!and!identify!policy!instruments!to!be!mobilized!in!the!
pursuit!of!the!objectives.!
!
European!law!shows!an!impressive!number!of!policy!tools,!relevant!to!food,!already!in!place.!Here!we!
list!the!most!relevant!ones.!!
Direct'regulation'
All!European!regulations!are!aligned!with!the!principles!set!out!in!the!Treaty!of!Rome,!including!freedom!
of!movement! of! goods,! services,! capital,! people.! The! free! movement! of! goods,! together! with! the!
competition!policy!enforced!by!the!Commission!-!together!with!the!national!competition!authorities!and!
national! courts!(by! means! of! antitrust! and! cartel! policy,! merger! control,! state! aid! control)! -! both!
contribute!to!the!realization!of!the!Single!Market.!
!
8!
Direct!regulation!is!applied!to!authorise,!prohibit!or!regulate!the!use!of!given!production!or!commercial!
practices! or! products.! Examples! of! direct! activity! regulation! in! the! food! system! are:!pesticides,!
fertilizers,! GMOs,! novel! foods!and!packaging.! An! important! component! of! direct! regulation! are!
standards,!technical!rules!applied!to!agricultural! production!(for!instance! the! 'greening'!tools!or!the!
agri-environmental! measures! of! rural! development! plans)! and! processing! (as! in! the! case! of! quality!
schemes! or! in! the! case! of! levels! of! contaminants! in! food).! The! adoption! of! standards! and! their!
communication!to!users!may!imply!control!and/or!certification!schemes.!Standards!can!be!mandatory!
(in!this!case!all!have!to!adopt!them)!or!voluntary!(in!which!case!the!adoption!is!rewarded!by!benefits!
such!as!improved!reputation!or!a!specific!payment).!!
Market-based'tools'
Subsidies$
The!Common!Agricultural!Policy!provides!a!wide!range!of!market-based!tools.!Under!the!CAP!1st!pillar,!
direct! payments! provide! income! integration! for! farmers,! thus! supporting! their!competitiveness,!
sustainability!and!environmentally-friendly!farming!practices.!The!fruit!and!milk!scheme!of!the!single!
CMO!is!a!market!based!tool,!but!with!health!and!nutrition!education!implications!for!the!school!children!
targeted!by!this!policy!tool.!Under!the!Rural!Development!policy,!agro-environment-climate!payments!
are!given!to!farmers!who!pledge!to!introduce!environmentally!friendly!farming!practices!above!good!
environmen tal! practices.!There! is!support! to! investment! tools! give! financial! aid! to! purchase! capital!
goods,! equipment!or! infrastructures.! Compensation! payments! are! also! granted! in! case! of! natural!
disasters.!Promotion!campaigns!about!EU!farm!products!are!designed!to!co-finance!campaigns!oriented!
to!inform!consumers!about!the!various!EU!quality!schemes!and!labels!as!well!as!support!the!opening!of!
up!new!market!opportunities!for!EU!farmers!and!the!wider!food!industry.$
Trade$agreements$and$barriers$
The! EU! has! exclusive! power! to! legislate! on! trade! matters! and! to! conclude! international! trade!
agreements,!based!on!World!Trade!Organisation!rules.!Its!policy!covers!trade!in!goods!and!services!but!
also!matters!such!as!commercial!aspects!of!intellectual!property!rights!and!foreign!direct!investment.!
Agricultural!commodities!and!food!products!are!an! important!component!of!European!foreign!trade,!
and!trade!agreements!may!affect!the!food!system!in!a!substantial!way.!Trade!related!policy!tools!also!
include!several!types!of!restrictions!to!trade,!such!as!import!tariffs,!import!quota!and!non-tariff!barriers!
(e.g.!safety!standards!and!labelling!requirements).$
Food$assistance'
Food!assistance!refers!to!financial!and!in-kind!support! to!most!deprived!persons.!It!is!often!operated!
through!public-private-civic!partnerships.!European!Union! provides!a!food!distribution!program,!and!
in!2014!has!established!a!Fund!for!European!Aid!to!the!most!deprived!(FEAD)!under!the!Employment,!
Social!Affairs!and!Inclusion!Directorate!of!the!EU!Commission.$
Public$procurement$
EU!public!procurement!rules!aim!at!giving!contracting!authorities!the!opportunity!to! choose!the!best!
type! of! procedure,! requirements! and! criteria! allowing! them! to! pursue! environmental,! social! and!
innovation!objectives.!Food!is!strongly!relevant!to!public!procurement!in!relation!to!schools,!hospitals!
and!public!employees’!canteens.$
Food$taxation$
Food! taxation! measures! have! been! introduced! in! several! countries! to! reduce! the! consumption! of!
unhealthy!food.!Fats,!sugars,!salt! are!the!targets!of!these!policies.!Denmark,!Finland,!France,!Hungary,!
and!Mexico!have!such!taxes.!Taxation!is!expected!to!impact!on!consumption!levels!in!relation!to!the!
willingness!to!pay!for!a!food!product.!!
Commerce$licensing$
Commerce!licensing!can!shape!the!food!environment!by!altering!the!accessibility!to!given!categories!of!
food!in!a!certain!geographical!area.!Municipalities!use!zoning!to!exclude!or!include!specific!typologies!
A$transition$towards$sustainable$food$systems$in$Europe$
9
of! food! business.! In! the! USA,! they! are! used! to! exclude! fast! food! or! to! support! the! establishment! of!
farmers’!markets,!or!to!identify!areas!where!access!to!fresh!food!is!limited.!!
Knowledge-related'tools'
Research$and$Innovation$policy$
There!is!a!rich!European!R&I!landscape!of!funding!programmes!related!to!food!and!nutrition!security!
as! well! as! strategies!and! initiatives! led! by! different! European! Commission! services!that! reflect! the!
complexity! of! food! systems!and! the! multiple! aspects! related! to! food! production,! consumption! and!
health
13
.!R&I!can!have!a!structural!effect!on!the!future!food!systems,!including!extension!services.!The!
2015!fourth!foresight!exercise!of!the!EU!Member!States!Standing!Committee!on!Agriculture!Research
14
,!
(SCAR)!highlights!that!R&I!ought!to!be!built!upon!a!knowledge!and!innovation!system!that!should!be!
challenge-oriented,! transdisciplinary,! socially! distributed,! reflexive,! needing! new! rewarding! and!
assessment!systems,!and!helping!to!build!competencies!and!capacities.!!
Information,$communication,$advertisement$
All! policy! measures! aim! at! providing! adequate! information! to! consumers! and! citizens! about! food.!
Appropriate!information!is!the!necessary!condition!for!responsible!choice.!Within!this!heading!we!also!
consider!issues!related!to!the!regulation!of!food!advertisement,!for!example!advertisement!addressed!
to!children!or!health!and!nutrition!claims,!the!regulation!of!which!should!ensure!that!claims!are!based!
on!scientific!evidence.!!
Labelling$
Labelling! rules! regulate! the! information! on! food! labels! to! consumers.! It! establishes! information,!
regulates!optional!information!and!sets!terminology.!Labelling!rules!can!be!an! important!food!policy!
tool!since!it!can!display!information!on!the!origin!of!the!product,!on!methods!of!production!and!on!the!
nutritional!content!of!food.!$
Food$education$
Nutrition!education!helps!to!build!the!capacities!for!people!to:!feed!themselves!and!their!families!well,!
get!the!right!foods!at!the!right!prices,!prepare!healthy!foods!and!meals!which!they!enjoy,!recognize!poor!
food! choices! and! resist! them,! teach! their! children! and! others! about! healthy! eating.! Food! education!
policies!support!strategies!to!reach!a!variety!of!audiences!and!contexts!through!various!communication!
channels.$
Nudging$tools$
In!this!category,!we!consider!a!number!of!tools!"designed$to$steer$individuals$in$certain$directions$without$
limiting$ their$ freedom$ of$ choice"! (Reisch! et! al.,! 2017).! These! can! be! information! tools! that! provide!
consumers! wit h! feedbacks,! warnings,!reminders,! generate!a ttraction,! or!simply! modify! the! physical!
contexts! of! choice,! ( e.g.! positioning! of! p roducts! in! shops).! Nudg ing! tools! can! be! used! to! orient! food !
environments!to!policy!goals.$
Governance'tools'
Under!this!heading!we! classify!all! forms! of! public-private-civic!interaction! that!address!policy!issues!
related!to!agriculture!and!food!policies.!Governance!can!be!designed!to!foster!vertical! and!horizontal!
integration,!to!involve!citizen!in!decision!making!and!to!strengthen!joint!strategic!reflection.!EU!General!
Food!Law!sets!governance!tools!that!assign!roles!and!responsibilities!to!the!food!business!operators.!
The! Rural! Development! policy! identifies!managing! authorities,! planning! procedures,! and! rules! for!
consultation.!
13
!European!Research!and!Innovation!for!Food!and!Nutrition!Security,!FOOD!2030!High-level!Conference!
background!document,!http://ec.europa.eu/research/bioeconomy/pdf/food2030_conference_background.pdf!
14
!See!the!report:!https://ec.europa.eu/research/scar/pdf/ki-01-15-295-enn.pdf#view=fit&pagemode=none!!
!
10!
Through!Corporate!Social!Responsibility!(CSR),!companies!integrate!social!and!environmental!concerns!
in!their!business!operations!on!a!voluntary!basis.!European!Legislation!set!priorities!and!measures!on!
CSR! matters! by! supporting! multi-stakeholder’s!initiatives,! promoting! CRS! among! medium-sized!
enterprises,! spreading! good! CSR! practices,! integrating! CSR! into! education,! training! and! research,!
improving!the!market!rewards!for!CSR.!
Strategic'tools'
Strategic!instruments!define!principles,!goals,!and!priorities!to!chart!a!future!direction!of!action.!They!
are! needed! to! integrate! overarching! objectives! in! the! implementation! of! instruments! that,! if! acting!
independent!from!each!other,!may!tend!to!ignore!related!policies!or!problems.!Strategic!tools!can!also!
give! guidance! on! how! to! identify! weaknesses! and! gaps! in! the! existing! regulations! and!provide!
recommendations! for! regulatory! change.! They! may! include! framework! conventions,! guidelines,!
strategic!action!plans,!and!roadmaps!(Rogge,!Reichard,!2016).!!
In!the!EU!legislation,!Rural!Development!Plans!give!Member!States!the!possibility!to!coordinate!the!tools!
of! the! Rural! Development! Policy! to! region-specific! objectives.! Support! programmes! or! operational!
programmes!in!the!Common!Market!Organization!coordinate!support!instruments!to!a!specific!sector.!!
Strategic! tools! can! be! implemented! at! any! governance! level! to! foster! integration! between! related!
policies.!!Urban!Food!Strategies,!blossomed!in!the!last!years,!have!opened!a!new!policy!field,!improving!
understanding!on! how! food! consumption! is! affected! by! urban! policies,! and! identifying!l inks! across!
policy!fields!previously!unexplored.!
3.2"The"effectiveness"of"the"policy"mix"
In!a!sustainable!food!system,!resources,!actors!and!activities!align!dynamically!around!sustainability!
principles.! This! means! that! when! perturbations! (for! example,! new! technologies,! new! consumption!
patterns,!new!scarcities)!alter!or!threaten!to!alter!the!sustainability!performance! of!the!food!system,!
feedback!mechanisms!are!put!in!place!to!re-establish!the!alignment.!According!to!a! system! approach,!
consumers! and ! consumption! fully! contribut e! to! system! outcomes.! Consumpt ion! and! consumers! are!
internal,!not!external!to!the!system,!and!this!implies!that!policies!should!affect!consumption!as!well!as!
production.!!
Policy! tools! influence! the! behaviour!of! food! system! actors! by! impacting! on! supply! and! demand! in!
multiple! wa ys.! Supply-side!policy! instruments! act! upon! producers,! processors! and! distributors! by!
altering!the!conditions!that!determine!prices!and!quantities!supplied.!For!example,!coupled!CAP!support!
mechanisms!affect!quantities!produced!of!a!given!product;!safety!rules!affect!production!processes!and!
production!costs.!!
In!a!strategy!for!sustainable!food!systems,!principles!such!as!agroecology,!social!responsibility,!and!fair!
trade! could! align!supply! side! instruments! around!sustainability! goals.! Agroecology! would! provide!
criteria! for! cross-compliance,! for! environmental! payments!and!for! product! labelling.! Social!
responsibility! would! encourage! producers! in! actively! identifying! sustainability! targets! and! develop!
accountability!instruments.!Fair!Trade!principles!would!promote!diversity!and!complementarity!among!
systems!and!preventing!power!concentration!and!support!the!necessary!system!diversification.!!
The! role! of! demand-side! instruments! is! largely! under-explored! within! the! sustainable! food! policy!
transition! thinking.! Demand-side!policy! instruments! affect! the! conditions!of! demand.! For! instance,!
laws!on!alcohol!consumption!restrict!access!by!teenagers;!taxes!on!sugars!or!on!fat!are!aimed!at!altering!
relative!prices!among! food!items;!nutritional!labelling!aims!at! orienting!consumers’!choice.! Strategic!
tools!embodying! the! principle! of! sustainable! diets! (Mason!and! Lang,! 2017)!would! identify! the! link!
between!health!and!environmental!outcomes! of!consumption!and!would!help!setting!the!appropriate!
policy!mix!to!address!it.!!
Considering!supply-side! a nd! demand -side! inst ruments! a s! compon ents! of! pol icy! mixes ! would! e nable!
policy!makers!to!holistic!thinking,!looking!at!how!demand-side!policies!would!have!dynamic!effects!at!
supply!level,!influencing!producers’!strategies!and!fostering!innovation!(Hawkes,!2012).!
A$transition$towards$sustainable$food$systems$in$Europe$
11
A!strategic!management!of!supply-side!and!demand-side!policy!instrument!could!also!address!the!food"
environment,! that! can! be! defined! as! collective! physical,! economic,! policy! and! socio-cultural!
surroundings,!opportunities!and!conditions!that!influence!people’s!food!and!beverage!choices!(Herforth!
and!Ahmed,!2015;!Swinburn!et!al.!2015).!The!food!environment!concept!tells!us!that!consumers!are!free!
to! choose,! but! they! are! influenced! by! signals,! incentives,! constraints! and! penalties!specific! of! given!
contexts.! A!growing!literature!studies!the!effects!of!the!food!environment!on!dietary!patterns!and!on!
malnutrition,!showing!how!individual!choice!is!mediated!by!structural!conditions!(Gòmez!et!al.!2013).!
The!food!environment!encompasses!the!available!food!in!each!region,!distribution!infrastructures!that!
regulate!access!to!food,!rules!that!regulate!food!activities!and!food!affordability,!as!well!as!food-related!
information,!social!conventions!and!beliefs.!The!food!environment!concept!shows!the!importance!of!not!
just! looking! at! the! primary! producer! and! at! an! isolated! consumer,! but! to! consider! the! collective!
dimension!of!consumer!choices!and!action,!as!they!become!more!organised.!
The!food! environment! concept!opens!a!new!set!of!policy!instruments! and! new! objectives! for! policy!
integration.! In! this! sense,! private! actors! have! been! forerunners! in! shaping! food! environments,! for!
example!through!food!industry!product!design!and!marketing!strategies,!while!public!policy!has!not!yet!
adopted!the!food!environment!as!a!focus!for!policy!action.!!
Figure! 1! illustrates!t he! multiple!impacts! of! policies!on! the! food! system:! these! impacts!may! directly!
address! the! supply,! the! demand! and! the! ‘food! environment’! (HLPE,! 2017).!Policies! influence!
consumption!patterns!through!supply!and!demand!policies.!For!example,!‘fruit!in!the!school’!schemes!
link!demand!and!supply!instruments!to! increase!fruit! consumption!by!the!young!generations.!These!
schemes!contribute!to!modify!the!food!environment,!as!they!contribute!to!change!the!dietary!routines,!
and!the!impact!of!these!policies!may!go!well!beyond!the!quantities!of!fruit!mobilized!in!the!scheme.!
Change!in!relative!prices!of! nutrients!(which! can!be!affected!by! demand-side! pol icies)! ma y! alter! the!
proportion!of!food!items!in!a!daily!food!basket,!but!a!change!in!dietary!habits!would!happen!only!when!
relative!prices!acquire!long-term!stability.!!
When!taking!systematically!the!food!environment!into!consideration,!a! much!larger!set!of!policies!can!
be!mobilized,!such!as!commerce!authorizations,!urban!garden!allotments,!mobility,!education,!disease!
prevention,!public!procurement,!etc.!Food!environment!policies,!in!summary,!mobilize!policy!tools!with!
the! specific! purpose! of! affecting! consumers'! habits.! Food! environment! policies! act! upon! the! deep!
structures!of!consumers’!choice!by!affecting!purchasing!and!consumption!routines.!
Policies! explicitly!addressing!the!food! environment! can! be!an!important! component! of!policies!for! a!
sustainable!food!system.!They!also!call!for!a!revision!of!governance!arrangements:!while!demand!and!
supply! side! policies! are! normally! set! at! national! or! European!level,! policies! addressing! the! food!
environment!need!to! be! tailored!to! specific!local! contexts!and!require!new!policy!networks!and!new!
policy!fora.!!
!
!
!
12!
Figure$2$-$Policy$impacts$on$supply,$demand$and$food$environment$
!
An!analysis!of!the!impacts!of!policy!tools!on!the!food!system!activities!and!outcomes!is!necessary!to!
build!an!appropriate!policy!mix.!Table!2!classifies!policy!tools!according!to!their!most!relevant!expected!
impacts!on!sustainability!dimensions!(economic,!social,!ecological,!health,!ethical,!resilience),!on!system!
activities!(supply!and!demand)!and!on!food!environment.!Colours!show!tools!not!available!at!European!
level!(red)!or!applied!in!some!countries!(blue).!!
!
Table$2$–$A$classification$of$policy$tools$and$their$impacts$$
"
Supply"
Demand"
Food"environment"
Economic"
CAP!payments;!RD!
investments;!RD!agri-env.!
payments;!trade;!RD!
advisory!services;!food!
assistance;!
Sugar/fat/soda/salt!
taxation!
!Public!procurement;!food!
assistance;!
Sugar/fat/soda/salt!
taxation!
Zoning!(fast!food!outlets,!
retailing);!Short!food!supply!
chains;!Sugar/fat/soda/salt!
taxation!
Social"
RD!advisory!services;!RD!
territorial!measures!
CAP!fruit!and!milk!in!
schools;!CAP!food!
assistance;!RD!support!to!
short!supply!chains;!food!
assistance!
Food!education;!Advertising!
restrictions;!Public!
procurement;!Dietary!
guidelines;!Labelling;!School!
meals;!!
Ecological"
CAP!greening;!RD!agri-env.;!
RD!advisory!services;!RD!
investments;!fishery!
maximum!sustainable!
yields;!water,!soil,!
pesticides,!fertilizers,!
packaging!regulations;!
waste!management;!circular!
economy;!trade!
Quality!schemes;!Full!cost!
pricing;!Labelling!
Urban!agriculture;!Waste!
management;!Circular!
economy;!Pesticide!
regulations;!GMOs!
regulation;!Labelling;!Food!
education;!communication;!
nudging!tools!
Health"
Quality!schemes;!General!
food!law;!CAP!coupled!
payments;!trade;!RD!
advisory!services;!RD!
investments!
Health!claims;!Quality!
schemes;!CAP!Fruit!and!
milk!in!schools;!Dietary!
guidelines;!
sugar/fat/soda/salt!
taxation!
Commerce!zoning!and!
licensing;!
Urban!agriculture;!Dietary!
guidelines;!Food!education;!
Labelling;!School!meals;!
nudging!tools!
Supply Demand
Policies
Advertising
Labelling
Public
procurement
Subsidies
Standards
regulations
Tra de
agreements Tax es
Education
Zoning
restrictions
Urban
gardening
Labelling
Participation
Food
Environment
Outcomes
Short chains
Nudge Education
Unfair
trading
Promotion
A$transition$towards$sustainable$food$systems$in$Europe$
13
Ethical"
Social!responsibility;!trade;!
RD!advisory!services;!RD!
investments!
Social!responsibility;!
Information!and!
communication!
Social!responsibility;!
Information!and!
Communication;!
Governance;!Labelling!
Resilience"
CAP!market!support!tools;!
RD!support!to!
diversification;!RD!advisory!
services!
Dietary!guidelines;!
Information!and!
communication!
Foot!printing!
Short!food!supply!chains!
Urban!agriculture;!RD!
support!to!short!food!
supply!chains;!Food!
assistance!
!
The!transition!to!sustainable!food!systems!requires!the!alignment!and!adjustment!of!the! broad!set!of!
policy!instruments!that!influence!demand,!supply!and!the!food!environment,!and!the!related!skills,!roles!
and!responsibilities!among!the!actors!in!the!system.! Thi s! tran sition! r equires! t ime,!and! considerable!
effort! bot h! top-down!(rules,!incentives!and!reorganization!of! governance)!and!bottom!up,! especially!
from! civil! society,! consumers,! local! administrations,! in! order! to! un-lock! food! systems!towards!
sustainability.!!
3.3"Fostering"integration,"broadening"involvement"
The!establishment!of!a!policy!for!sustainable!food!systems!requires!both!horizontal!and!vertical!policy!
integration!(OECD,!2016).!Horizontal!integration,!that!is!the!coordination!or!even!the!reorganization!of!
public!administration!bodies!related!to!food,!will!need!a!strong!commitment!at!the!highest!levels!of!the!
interested!administrations.! Vertical! coordination! involves! local,! regional,! national! administration!
bodies.! The!model!of!the!Rural! Development! Policy,!articulated! as!a!multilevel!planning!instrument,!
seems! a! promising! model,! as! it! involves! many! actors! at! different! levels! in! the! d efinition! of! regional!
strategies!consistent!with!overarching!societal!challenges.!However,!Rural!Development!Policies!don't!
involve!urban!municipalities,!which!have!an!important!stake!on!food!issues,!as!they!host!the!majority!of!
consumers,!and!have!the!necessary!policy!tools!to!shape!the!food!environment.!Giving!municipalities!
the!power!of!setting!food!strategies!would!give!those!resources!and!authority! to!make!a! strong!step!
forward! in! the! direction! of! sustainable! food! systems! (Petrini! and! de! Schutter,! 2017).! In! fact,! urban!
administrations!can!regulate!commerce,!built!food!infrastructures,!orient!public!procurement,!support!
food!education,!encourage!urban!agriculture,!and!organize!food!assistance!to!the!most!deprived.!Urban!
food! policies,! integrated! into! broader! agriculture! and! food! policies,! can! become! the! core! of! food!
environment!policies!and!of!the!new!food!policy.!
An!integrated!food!policy!also!requires!a!stronger!alignment!between!public!and!private!actors.!Food!
system! actors! are! already! organized! into! networks! regulated! by! formal! or! informal! coordination!
mechanisms! (i.e.! contracts,! voluntary! standards,! private! labels).! Thanks! to! long-term! collaboration!
between!food!chain! actors,!value!chains!have!become!progressively!more!and!more! integrated.!Since!
sustainability! has! become! a! relevant! matter! of! choice! for! a! growing! number! of! consumers,! quality!
schemes!and!sustainability!standards!have!blossomed.!Alignment!between!private!standards!and!agri-
environmental!requirements!of!the!rural!development!schemes
15
!would!be!beneficial!to!the!system,!as!
they!give!market!outlets!to!virtuous!practices,!so!to!link!competitiveness!with!sustainability!(Fresco!and!
Poppe,! 2016).! However,! it! should! also! be! considered! that! value! chains!are! often! dominated! by! big!
players,!in! particular! international! retail! chains,!and! the! legitimization! that! they! would! gain! from!
collaboration! with! the! public! sector! in! sustainability! strategies! might! contribute! to! increase! the!
concentration!of!power!in!the!system.!To!avoid!this!risk!and!at!the!same!time!seizing!the!opportunity!
offered! by! t he! convergence! of! va lue! chains! on! public! goals,! policies! s hould! exchange! res ources! and!
legitimization!with!a!stronger!commitment!of!corporates!to!social!responsibility,!information!disclosure!
and!to!opening!corporate!deliberation!to!civil!society.!Moreover,!policy!instruments!should!be!put!in!
place!to!strengthen!the!plurality!of!the!system,!for!example!by!supporting!the!development!of!local!food!
supply! chains! and! encouraging! research! on! small! size! processing! technologies.! The! multilevel!
dimension!of!governance!should!be!able!to!ensure!the!capacity!of!regional!food!systems!to!adapt!to!local!
needs!and!to!fully!involve!local!actors.!!
15
!As!suggested!by!Fresco!and!Poppe!(2016).!
!
14!
Finally,!it! is!to!be! considered!that,! despite!the!strong!synergies!that!transition!to!a! sustainable!food!
system!could!generate,!the! process!of!change!may!also!make!trade-offs,! contradictions,!uncertainties,!
conflicts ! of! interest! and! ethical ! dilemmas! emerge.! It! is! crucial!that! intervention! is! subject!to! public!
debate.!Food!systems!should!provide!spaces!of!deliberation!–! that!is,!public!spaces!where!two-ways!
communication ! between! consumers,! producers,! ad ministrations! and! civil ! society! is! encouraged! -! to!
stimulate!all!system!actors!to!contribute!to!a!shared!vision!of!sustainability!(Kirwan!et!al.,!2017a).!
4."An"assessment"of"EU"food"related"policies:"inconsistencies,"incoherencies,"policy"gaps"
This!section!reports!a!synthetic!overview!of!ten! selected! policies!according!to!the!perspective!above!
illustrated.!In!particular,!we!have!analysed!their!consistency!with!sustainability!goals!we!have!identified!
above,!the!policy!tools!they!activate,!their!coherence!with!other!policies,!their!impact!on!sustainability!
criteria,!the!policy!gaps!they!have!put!into!evidence!in!their!implementation.!!!
All!the!information!and!assumptions!included!in!the!analysis!comes!from!a!literature!review!of!studies!
available!for!each!policy!(for!details,!please!refer!to!the!Annex!of!the!report).!!
4.1"CAP"Greening"
Main"acts.!!Reg.!EU!1307/2013!in!conjunction!with!Reg.!EU!639/2014;!Reg!EU!641/2014!
General"aim.!The!mandatory!greening!component!of!direct!payments!should!‘address!both!climatic!and!
environmental!policy!goals’!by!‘enhancing!environmental!performance’.!The!aim!of!CAP!Greening!is!to!
impose!a!stronger!linkage!of!the!decoupled!direct!payments!to!‘agricultural!practices!beneficial!to!the!
climate!and!environment’!through!three!CAP!Greening!measures:!crop!diversification,!maintenance!of!
permanent!grassland!and!Ecological!Focus!Area!(EFA).!
Tools.!Greening!is!a!market-based,!supply-targeted!instrument,!as!it!provides!eligible!farmers!with!a!
direct!payment!conditioned!to!greening!practices.!!
Consistency" with" overarching" goals.! By! having! an! environmental! purpose,! the! CAP! Greening! is!
explicitly!consistent!with!the!overarching!ecological!goal,!despite!the!proportion!of!Greening!payments!
on! the! total! direct! payments! being! limited.! Other! goals!are! not! explicitly! considered;!however,! the!
Greening!tool!is!implicitly!consistent!with!social!and!resilience!goals!because!it!also!aims!to!promote!
farmers’!responsibility!towards!the!protection!of!the!environment!and!the!provisions!of!public!goods.!
The!CAP!Greening!is!aligned!to!the!economic!goal!of!supporting!farmers'!income,!as!it!conditions!eligible!
farmers!to!obtaining!a!share!of!the!direct!payment.!!!
Coherence"with"other"policy"instruments.!Greening!is!a!component!of!a!larger!direct!payment.!It!is!
not! clear! if! the! other! component! of! direct! payments! encourages! practices!to! the! detriment! of! the!
environment! (i.e.! as! a! balancing! reaction).! Moreover,! CAP! Greening! is! complementary! with! Cross-
compliance! and! Rural! Development! Agri-environmental! measures,! because! all! the! three! tools! are!
designed!to!improve!the!environmental!sustainability!of!agriculture.!However,!there!are!overlaps!with!
the!rules!of!CAP!Cross-compliance!(Good!Agricultural!and!Environmental!Conditions)!and!with!the!Agri-
environmental!measures!of!the!rural!development!policy!(see!Annex!on!Greening!for!details).!!
Impacts." The! general! impact! of! Greening! measures! is! relatively! low,! especially! due! to! the! many!
exemption s! and! derogat ions! to! the! rules ! arising! as! a ! compromise! for! t he! politi cal! acceptance! of! t he!
reform!and!to!the!large! flexibility! given!to!the!Member!States!to! implement! the!reform.!However,!it!
should!be!considered!that!part!of!the!purpose!of!greening!was!to!signal!to!the!society,!including!farmers,!
that!a!significant!justification!of!making!direct!payments!is!to!achieve!more!sustainable!farming!systems.!
The! demonstration! effect! of! Greening,! as! its! requirements! become! more! routine,! conceivably! could!
engage!a!more!positive!attitude!of!farmers!to!make!the!best!of!these!requirements.!
Gaps"and"missing"links."The!green!payments,!in!its!actual!formulation,!can!give!a!weak!contribution!to!
the!transition!towards!sustainable!food!systems.!If!the!pledge!of!EU!with!relation!to!the!Paris!agreement!
on!climate!change!will!have!to!be!respected,!much!more!radical!measures!will!have!to!be!put!in!place.!
In! a! recent! study! of! the! FiBL! for! IFOAM! EU! (http://www.ifoam-eu.org/en/news/2018/04/18/fibl-
study-shows-reforming-common-agriculture-policy-cap-can-better-support-farmers)! and!
(http://www.ifoam-
A$transition$towards$sustainable$food$systems$in$Europe$
15
eu.org/sites/default/files/towards_a_new_public_goods_payment_model_for_remunerating_farmers_u
nder_the_CAP_post-2020_report_by_fibl.pdf),! the! focus! is! on! further! developing! voluntary! robust!
measures!under!pillar!II!of!the!CAP,!while!increasingly!mainstreaming!sustainability!measures!in!pillar!
I!with!a!new!and!more!ambitious!scheme!to!replace!the!current!greening!measures.!
!
4.2"Nitrates"Directive"
Main"act.!Council!Directive!91/676/EEC!
General" aim.! The! Council! Direc tive! 91/676/ EEC! (the! Nitr ates! Directive,! ND)! aims! to! reduce! water!
pollution!caused!by!nitrates!from!agricultural!sources!and!to!prevent!such!pollution!through!a!number!
of! steps! to! be! fulfilled!by!Member!States,! such! as! monitoring!of!all!water!body!types,! designation!of!
Nitrates! Vulnerable! Zones!(NVZ),! the! establishment! of! codes! of! good! agricultural! practices,! the!
establishment!of!action!plans! to!prevent!water!pollution!by!nitrates.!Moreover,!the!ND!includes!rules!
for! the! use! of! animal! manure! and! chemical! fertilisers.! A! key!measure! is! that! member! states! should!
guarantee!that!annual!application!of!nitrates!by!animal!manure!at!the!farm!level!does!not!exceed!170!
kg/ha.!
Tools.! The! tools! activated! by! the! Nitrates! Directive! can! be! classified! as! supply-side! direct! activity!
regulation,! as! it! provides! limitations! concerning! the! use! of! nitrate! fertilisers,! mandatory! action!
programmes,!codes!of!good!agricultural!practices!which!Member!States!can!implement!in!addition!to!
the!action!programmes.!
Consistency"with"overarching"goals.!Given!its!environmental!goal,!the!Directive!is!consistent!with!the!
ecological! overarching! goals;! it! can! be! considered! also! consistent! with! ethical! and! resilience! goals!
because! it! promotes! farmers’! responsibility! towards! the! protection! and! maintenance! of! natural!
resources.! On! the! other! side,! the! effect! that! Nitrates! Directive! may! have! on! the! reduction! on! farm!
incomes!make!it!less!consistent!with!the!economic!policy!goal.!
Coherence" with" other" policy" instruments.! The! Directive! is! coherent! with! the! Water! Framework!
Directive!(WFD),!the!National!Emissions!Ceiling!directive!(NEC)!and!the!CAP!cross-compliance!(it!is!a!
Statutory!Management!Requirement).!
Impacts." Being!a!policy!with!a!clear!environmental!target,!the!Directive! provides! a! general! positive!
environmental!impact,!in!term!of!reduction!of!nitrates!contents!in!water!bodies!(ground!water,!surface!
water,!rivers,!and!lakes).!Nonetheless,!there!are!still!regions!of!major!concern!for!nitrates!and!a!socio!-!
technical!lock-in!situation!verifies,!due!to!the!reluctance!to!impose!a!policy!of!reduction!of!herds!at!the!
scale!of!a!whole!region.!The!economic!impact!is!also!relevant,!as!limitations!concerning!the!input!of!
nitrogen!to! the!soil!and!the!obligations!on!the!manure!storage!have!an!economic!effect!on!farms,!as!
demonstrated!by!the!decrease!in!the!number!of!livestock!farms!within!the!NVZ.!!
Gaps" and" missing" links.! In! relation! to! environmental! goals,! missing! links! are! detected! with! other!
policies! aimed! at! improving! water! quality! and! reducing! water! pollution! from! sources,!other! than!
agriculture.!In!relation!to!the! economic! goa l,!a gri-env ironm enta l! measures! of!the!rural!development!
plans!have!been!used!to!compensate!farmers'!losses.!However,!clearer!strategies!(based!on!other!tools!
such!as!support!to!investments!and!knowledge-based!tools)!should!be!put!in!place!to!foster!different!
development!models!in!the!area.!!
!
4.3"Seed"Marketing"Directives"
Main" acts.! The! Seed! Marketing! Directives! are! based! on! article! 37! of! the! Treaty! establishing! the!
European! Community! (Common! Agricultural! Policy).! There! are! 12! basic! Council! Directives:! one!
horizontal ! Directive! on! the! Com mon! Catalogue! of! varieties! of! agricultural! plant! species;! 11! vertical!
Marketing!Directives.!
!
16!
General" aim.! The! Directives! regulate! the! marketing! of! plant! reproductive! material! of! agricultural,!
vegetable,!forest,!fruit!and!ornamental!species!and!vines,!ensuring!that!EU!criteria!for!health!and!quality!
are!met.!Their!goal!is!to!guarantee!safety!to!consumers!and!productivity!to!producers.!
Tools.! The! tools! of! this! policy!are! mainly! direct! regulation.! There! are! supply-based! tools! such! as!
registration! (each! variety! should! be! registered);! certification! (to! guarantee! the! identity,! health! and!
quality!of!seeds!and!propagating!material);!marketing!(rules!on!the!way!seed!and!propagating!material!
is!marketed);!equivalence!rules!(to!guarantee!that!seeds!harvested!outside!the!EU!may!be!marketed!in!
the!EU).!
Consistency"with"overarching"goals.!The!Directives!impact!directly!on!the!economic!and!health!goals,!
as!they!are!defined!with!the!aim!of!ensuring!productivity!for!producers!and!food!safety!for!consumers.!
They!are!also!consistent!with!the!ethical!goal,!as!the!registration!and!certification!system!have!fostered!
transparency! by! disclosing! information!about! farming! inputs,! namely! seeds.!More! information! and!
transparency!imply!that!!!producers!takes!responsibilities!on!the!safety!of!their!products.!!
Coherence"with"other"policy"instruments.!Within!the!EU,!there! are!several!policy!acts!that!seek! to!
foster!the!enhancement!of!biodiversity!and!of!all!those!food!systems!that!can!contribute!to!this!goal.!The!
EU! is! part! of! both! the! Convention! for! Biological! Diversity! (CBD)! and! the! Treaty! on! Plant! Genetic!
Resources!for!Food!and!Agriculture!(TPGRFA).!Moreover,!the!EU!has!adopted!the!Biodiversity!Strategy!
in!the!frame!of!EU!environmental!policies.!The!seed!policies!seem!to!move!in!another!direction!with!
respect!to!the!preservation!of!biodiversity.!
Impacts."With!regard!to!economic!impacts,"productivity!has!increased!but!apparently!not!more!or!less!
than! in! EU! crops! where! VCU! is! not! mandatory! (e.g.! vegetable! seed).! The! system! of! registration,!
certification!and!marketing!of!S&PM!has!positively!impacted!on!the!social!dimension.!It!has!contributed!
to!food!security!allowing!the!establishment!of!a!free!marketing!of!safe!and!productive!S&PM!in!the!EU!
to!which!both!producers!and!consumers!have!access.!However,!small!farmers!are!in!a!disadvantaged!
position!compared!to!professional!breeders!and!big!food!business.!As!for!health,!the!safety!dimension!
is!enhanced!by!increased!controls!even!if!criteria!and!controls!and,!the!resulting!selection,!are!not!fully!
effectiveness.!As!for!ethical!criteria,"the!rules!on!registration!and!certification! systems! have!fostered!
transparency."The!directives!have!negative!implications!regarding!the!environment.!The!set!of!criteria!
and! systems! of! registration! and! certification! have! contributed! to! reduce! the! number! of! varieties!
cultivated,!to!the!detriment!of!biodiversity.!On!the!resilience!side,!the!policy!has!generated!a!preference!
for!high!yield!varieties,!whose!adaptability!to!changing!climate!conditions!is!controversial,!and!lower!
crop!diversity!has!contributed!to!a!homogenisation!of!food!systems.!!
Gaps"and"missing"links.!The!seed!marketing!directives!are!defined!in!policy!domains!that!seem!to!move!
in!a!different!direction!than!other!policy!instruments!that!foster!biodiversity.!Nonetheless,!a!dialogue!
might!be!started!among!the!responsible!policy!makers!to!strengthen!the!coherence!among!the!acts.!The!
CAP,! and! consumer’s! safety!and! health!policies! can! be! a! starting! point! to! link! the! seed! marketing!
directives! with! stronger!biodiversity! protection:! a! diversity! of! varieties! may! contribute! to! valorise!
dietary!and!cultural!diversity,!which!may!enhance!marketing!potentials!of!ancient!varieties.!
!
4.4"CAP"Common"Market"Organization"
Main"acts."Reg.!EU!n.!1308/2013."
General"aim."The! main!purpose!of!the!new!CMO!Regulation!is!to!provide!a!safety!net!to!agricultural!
markets! through! the! use!of!market!support! tools,! exceptional! measures! and! aid! schemes! for! certain!
sectors!(in!particular!fruit,!vegetables!and!wine),!as!well!as!to!encourage!producer!cooperation!through!
producer! organisations!and! specific! rules! on! competition,!and! to! lay! down! marketing! standards!for!
certain!products."
Tools."The!CMO!activates!several,!mainly!supply-side!tools:!market!intervention!in!case!of!prices!below!
a!reference!price;!exceptional!measures!against!market!disturbance;!supply!control!measures!(e.g.!milk!
and!wine!sectors);!support!to! producers!and!inter-branch!organisations.!Demand-side!tools!are!also!
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17
available!such!as!support!to!promotion!to!export!in!the!wine!sector!and!promotion!of!fruit!and!milk!in!
schools.!
Consistency"with"overarching"goals."The!objectives!of"CMO!are!mainly!related!to!economic!goals,!as!
they!provide!the!infrastructure!to!guarantee!the!free!circulation!of!commodities,!stabilize!the!markets!
and!support!the!coordination!of!system!actors.!Much!less!evident!is!the!consistency!with!other!goals.!
Health!and!environmental!goals!are!addressed!only! by!the!fruit,!vegetables!and!milk!schemes,!a!tool!
introduced!originally!to!give!a!market!to!surplus!food,!that!in!the!years!has!introduced!rules!imposing!
health! and!environmental! criteria,! seasonality,!variety! and!availability!in!the!choice!of!products!to!be!
supplied!to!the!schools.!!
Coherence"with"other"policy"instruments."There!is!an!explicit!link!between!CMO!and!EU!competition!
policy!and!it!is!related!to!the!system!of!exemption!from!competition!law!(such!that!farmers!are!allowed!
to!cooperate!to!bargain!prices)!for!the!market!of!agricultural!products!foreseen!by!the!latter.!A!link!is!
also!provided!to!EU!geographical!indication!schemes.!The!fruit!and!vegetable!scheme!could!have!a!much!
greater!relevance!and!impact!in!a!different!context,!for!example!if!coordinated!with!the!food!education,!
public!procurement,!and!information!and!communication!policies.!!
Impact."!The!Single! CMO!Regulation!establishes! common!rules!concerning!marketing!periods,!public!
intervention,! private! storage,! reference! prices,! intervention! prices! and! disposal! of! products! bought!
under! intervention."It!has!an!economic!impact!because!it!comprises!a! set!of!measures!combined! in!a!
single! regulation! that! allows! the! European! Union! to! manage! the! market! (production! and! trade)! of!
several!agricultural!products.!Recent!available!evidence,!for!Italy!and!Germany,!on!the!impact!of!the!
fruit,!vegetables!schemes!on!health!indicates!that!consumption!of!fruit!and!vegetables!increases,!despite!
their!critiques!about!its!implementation.!
Gaps" and" missing" links." As! the! main! goal! of! the! CMO! is! to! conciliate! support! measures! with! free!
circulation! of! markets,! all! other! goals! are! poorly! addressed.! An! effort! is! made! to! improve! the!
coordination!among! actors! in!the!chain,!to!move! the! system! toward! quality! production! (through! the!
national! support! programmes)! and! to! orient! food! demand! (through! fruit! and! milk! in! the! school!
schemes).! However,! these! attempts! are! peripheral! to! the! main! objective! of! the! regulation,! and!the!
question!on!how!to!pursue!sustainable!food!systems!compatible!with!free!circulation!of!commodities!
remains!unanswered.!
!
4.5"Food"safety"and"hygiene"policy"
Main"acts."Regulation!(EC)!No!178/2002,!“hygiene!package”!(Reg.!852,!853/2004).!A!Fitness!Check!on!
the!General!Food!Law!is!currently!ongoing.!
General"aim.!The!General!Food!Law!(Reg.!n.!178/2002)!is!the!foundation!of!food!safety!policy:!it!sets!
outs! an! overarching! framework! (principles,!requirements,!and! procedures)!for! food! and! feed!safety!
from!production!to!distribution.!Among!the!main!objectives!of!EU!food!law,!the!main!one!is!“to!guarantee!
a!high!level!of!protection!of!human!life!and!health!and!the!protection!of!consumers'!interests,!while!at!
the!same!time!ensuring!free!movement!of!food!and!feed!in!the!internal!market”.!Critical!to!achieving!this!
objective!is!“risk!analysis”,!composed!of!“risk!assessment,!risk!management!and!risk!communication”.!
The!policy!introduces!different!kinds!of!tools:!direct!activity!regulation,!such!as!traceability!of!food,!feed!
and!animals;!standards,!such!as!the!HACCP;!compulsory!withdrawal!of!food!and!feed!from!the!market!
in!case!of!harm!to!health,!obligation!to!inform!the! competent! authorities!and! consumers;!governance!
tools,!such!as!the!European!Food!Safety!Authority!(EFSA)!and!the!Rapid!Alert!System!for!Food!and!Feed!
(RASFF).!
Consistency"with"overarching"goals."The!safety!policy!is!central!for!a!sustainable!food! system!and!
relevant!for!all!the!overarching!goals,!with!priority!given!to!health!and!economic!goals.!With!regard!to!
social!goals,!the!policy!is!mainly!targeted!to!consumers.!Ecological!objectives!are!not!the!primary!core!
of!the!policy;!however,!they!are!closely!linked!to!food!safety!for!human!consumption.!
!
!
18!
Coherence" with" other" policy" instruments." While! the! protection! of! the! life! and! health! and! other!
interests!of!consumers!is!the!main!objective!of!food!law,!EU!food!legislation!does!not!provide!consumers!
with!any!specific!rights!or!remedies.!Consumers!that! want!to!take!legal!action!must!rely!on! general!
consumer!protection!law!such!as!product!liability!legislation.!Consumer!law!has!created!an!instrument!
meant! to! support! the! consumer! in! tort! cases! in! their! dealings! wit h! produce rs! of! defe ctive! pr oducts,!
called!product!liability!law.!The!rules!on!product!liability!have!been!harmonised!in!the!European!Union!
by!Directive!85/374,!that!lays!down!the!principle!of!strict!liability!of!the!producer,!which!means!that!a!
producer! may! be! held! respons ible! for! a! damage! caused! by! a! defecti ve!p roduct! s/he! has! put! on! the!
market!even!in!the!absence!of!fault.!
Impacts.!Overall,!the!General!Food!Law!has!achieved!high!level!of!protection!of!human!health!and!the!
effective! functioning! of! the! internal! market,! generating! a! positive! social! and! economic! impact.! No!
systemic!failures!resulting!from!the!provisions!of!the!General!Food!Law!have!been!identified,!despite!
shortcomings!on!the!enforcement!of!the!rules!by!the!Member!States,!the!application!of!the!principles!or!
lack!of!full!harmonisation.!The!protection!of!health!and!safety,!pursued!by!the!General! Food!Law!has!
indirectly!safeguarded!the!resilience!of!the!European!Food!system.!
As!for!socio-economic!impact,!the!policy!has!generated!a!relatively!high!level!of!trust!in!the!system,!but!
it!has!penalised!small!food!business.!Exemptions!for!the!flexible!application!of!requirements!in!SMEs!
have!been!introduced,!but!implementation!is!unevenly!distributed!across!Europe.!!!
The!debate!related!to!the!authorization!of!new!food!products!or!to!inputs!shows!that!ethical!implications!
related!to!the!policy-science!interface!and!the!assessment!of!the!risks!for!human!health!are!strong!and!
need!to!be!addressed.!
Gaps" and" missing" links."Among! the! major! topics! to! be! discussed! within! the! Fitness! Check! is! the!
evaluation! of! the! current ! pre-market! authorisati on! process! for! certa in! products,! such! as! p esticides,!
Genetically! Modified! Organisms! (GMOs)! and! novel! foods! (e.g.! edible! insects).! Growing! mistrust! of!
citizens!towards!the!EU's!science-based!systems!is!emphasized!(Commissioner!Andriukaitis,!2016).!It!
is!recommended!the!introduction!of!national!plans!for!food!product!improvement!(reducing!levels!of!
salt,!saturated!fat,!trans-fatty!acids,!added!sugar!and!the!energy!density!of!food).!New!research!into!the!
date-marking! of! food! products,! such! a s!'us e-by'! and! 'best-! by'! marking,! has! been! ann ounced!a s! one!
priority,!relevant!for!reducing!food!waste.!Another!potentiality!is!to!come!up!with!EU!guidelines!on!food!
donation,!to!clarify!the!rules!and!responsibilities!under!which!unsold!food!can!be!given!to!charitable!
organisations!or!food!banks.!
!
4.6"Food"and"Drink"Labelling"policy"
Main"acts."Regulation!(EU)!No!1169/2011.!
General" aim.! The! provision! of! food! information! pursues! the! protection! of! consumers’! health! and!
interests!by!providing!a!basis!to!make!informed!choices!and!to!make!safe!use!of!food,!with!particular!
regard!to!health,!economic,!environmental,!social!and!ethical!considerations.!The!legislation!applies!to!
businesses!at!all!stages!of!the!food!chain!and!to!all!foods!intended!for!final!consumption.!Responsibility!
lies!with!the!manufacturers!marketing!the!food,!while!if!they!are!based!outside!the!EU,!it!lies!with!the!
importer.!
Tools."The!policy!introduces!direct!activity!regulation!tools!as!mandatory!information!(food’s!name,!list!
of!ingredients,!net!quantity,!use!by!date,!instructions!for!use!if!necessary,!operator's!name!and!address!
and!a!nutrition!declaration).!The!policy!also!allows!Member!States!to!set!rules!concerning!matters!not!
specifically!harmonised!by!the!Regulation!itself,!as!long!as! they! do!not!restrict! the!free!movement!of!
goods!(e.g.!country!of!origin!measures!can!be!introduced).!
Consistency"with"overarching"goals."The!Food!Labelling!Legislation!is!central!for!a!sustainable!food!
system!and!relevant!for!all!the!overarching!goals,!with!priority!given!to! health,!economic,!social,!and!
ecological.!It!has!a!potential!relevance!on!ethical!and!resilience!goals.!
Coherence" with" other" policy" instruments." The! link! between"food! labelling! and! sustainability!
represents! a! wide! policy! area,! developed! and! layered! over! time.! Environmental! labelling! is! not!
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19
mentioned! in! the! Food! labelling! legislation,! and! a! number! of! voluntary! public! labelling! schemes! is!
available.!An!example!of!achieved!coherence!emerges!from!the!relation!between!Organic!labelling!and!
Ecolabel!environmental!labelling:!in!order!to!avoid!consumer!confusion,!Ecolabel!does!not!apply!to!food,!
as! the! Organic! Labelling! is! already! a! sign! of! environmental! compliance.! Among! most! controversial!
debates,!the!Country!of!Origin!Labelling!(COOL)!as!a!restriction!of!international!trade.!Private!standards!
are! also! developed! by! private! companies! (i.e.,! retailers! and!producers)! and! NGOs:! the! FSC! (Forest!
Stewardship!Council)!or!PEFC!(Programme!for!the!Endorsement!of!Forest!Certification)!labels,!the!MSC!
(Marine!Stewardship!Council)!label,!the!Fair-Trade!label,!are!notable!examples.!The!different!labelling!
schemes!differ!regarding!the!level!of!ambition,!coverage!of!different!phases!of!the!life-cycle!and!in!the!
process!of!developing!and!certifying!the!criteria.!
Impacts.! Health.! Overall,! available! assessments! of! the! impact! of! labelling! on! healthier! purchasing!
choices!do!not!show!conclusive!results.!Among!relevant!factors,!information!complexity!and!clarity!are!
depending!also!on!consumers’!nutritional!knowledge,!age,!social!grade!and!interest!in!healthy!eating.!A!
potential!bias!in!available!studies!is!linked!to!self-selection,!as!label!users!are!already!likely!to!be!health-
oriented.!Studies!suggest!that!interpretive!labels,!(e.g.,!traffic!light!labels),!may!be!more!effective!than!
nutrition!labelling,!but!also!the!impact!of!this!tool!is!controversial.!
Social!and!Economic.!The!importance!of!food!labelling!lies!in!its!effectiveness!in!supporting!consumers!
to!make!informed!choices,!to!store!and!use!the!food!safely!and,!ultimately,!educating!consumers!about!
the!food!they!buy.!Through!the!reform,!rules!were!simplified,!clarified!and!streamlined.!The!extent!to!
which!these!aims!have!been!effectively!achieved!by!the!current!legislation!is!still!to!be!assessed,!while!
there!is!extensive!impact!assessment!that!supported!the!review!of!the!previous!legislation.!The!costs!of!
labelling!legislation,!and!changes!to!labelling!legislation,!fall!primarily!at!company!level!(generally,!on!
the!food!manufacturer!but!increasingly!on!the!retailer).!
Ecological!and! ethical.! Studies!show!that!the!understanding!of! the!concept!of!sustainability!is!limited,!
with! exceptions! when! labels! are! self-explanatory! (e.g.! Carbon! Footprint,! and! Animal! Welfare).!
Consumer!understanding!and!motivation!are!key!to!the!use!of!sustainability!labels!(both!environmental!
and!ethical).!Sustainability!labels!currently!do!not!play!a!major!role!in!consumers’!food!choices,!and!
future! use! of! these! labels! will!depend! on! the! extent! to! which! consumers’! general! concern! about!
sustainability!can!be!turned!into!actual!behaviour.!Moreover,!labels!do!not!provide!enough!information,!
and!48%!think!that!labels!are!not!clear.!
About!half!of!European!consumers!think!it!is!not!easy!to!differentiate!between!environmentally!friendly!
and! other! products! and! only! about! half! of! them! trust! producers'! claims! about! environmental!
performance.!This!also!influences!their!readiness!to!make!green!purchases.!
Gaps"and"missing"links."Information!is!necessary!for!informed!choice,!but!it!doesn’t!necessarily!lead!
to! healthier! eating.! A! strategic! coordination! of!labelling! with! other! knowledge-based! policies! mi ght!
impact!on!the!food!environment!pushing!food!consumers!towards!what’s!best!for!their!nutrition,!health!
and!for!society!as!a!whole.!In!particular,!the!link!between!sustainable!products!and!sustainable!diets!
should! be! explored.! A!further! assessment! on! the! impact! of! different! policy! tools,! considering! the!
interactions!among!them,!and!experimentation!with!innovative!and!more!intuitive!ways!of!conveying!
nutritional! and! health! information! to! the! consumer!are! needed.! ! “Nudges”! have! been! shown! to!
complement!the!effectiveness!of!some!existing!policies.!An!example!of!effort!towards!more!coordination!
is!the! recent! EU!Single! Market! for! Green! Products! initiative:!it! proposes! methods! to! measure!
environmental!performance!based!on!the!Product!Environmental!Footprint!(PEF)!and!the!Organisation!
Environmental!Footprint! (OEF),! and! a! set! of! principles! for! communicating! the! environmental!
performance,!such!as!transparency,!reliability,!completeness,!comparability!and!clarity.!!
!
4.7"Food"Quality"Policy"
Main"acts."Quality!Package,!2010,!Reg.!1151/2012.!
General"aim.! Among! EU’s! quality!schemes!are!Geographical! Indications!(GIs)!and!Organic!Products.!
Geographical!Indications!are!part!of!the!intellectual!properties!rights!of!the!European!Union.!Regulation!
(EU)!No!1151/2012,!aims!at!reducing!complexity!and!bringing!clarity!to!the!quality!schemes,!reinforcing!
!
20!
Protected! Designations! of! Origin! and! Geographical! Indications! (PDOs! and! PGIs);! overhauling! the!
traditional! specialties! guaranteed! scheme! (TSGs),! and! laying! down! a! new! framework! for! the!
development!of!Optional!Quality!Terms!(e.g.!Mountain!Products).!
Tools."Since!1992!the!EU!has!operated!three!programs!of!product!designations:!“Protected!Designation!
of! Origin”! (PDO),! “Protected! Geographical! Indication”! (PGI)! and! “Traditional! Specialty! Guaranteed”!
(TSG).!The!regulation!introduces!market-based,!voluntary!quality!schemes.!The!core!of!the!schemes!are!
'code!of!practices',!standards!that!identify!the!link!between!quality!of!the!products!and!the!territory!of!
origin.! ! Governance! tools! define! the! roles! and! responsibilities! related! to! setting! the! standards,!
registration,!certification,!promotion.!!
These!tools! help! to!highlight! the! qualities! and! traditions!associated! with! registered! products!and!to!
assure!consumers!that!these!are!not!imitations!seeking!to!benefit!from!the!good!name!and!reputation!
of!the!“original”!products.!As!a!result,!these!schemes!and!their!logos!should!help!producers/groups!of!
producers!to!market!their!products,!while!providing!them!legal!protection!from!misuse!or!falsification!
of!a!product!name.!
Consistency"with"overarching"goals."The!EU!quality!schemes!are!consistent!with!economic!and!social!
goals.!Ecological,!health,!ethics!are!not!explicitly!addressed:!they!receive!only!secondary!attention!in!the!
development! of! product! specifications.! By! providing! a! mechanism! to! generate! diversity! in! the! food!
system,!this!is!a!policy!highly!relevant!to!resilience.!Fostering!transparency!and!encouraging!consumers’!
awareness!on!quality!of!food,!entails!ethical!implications.!There!is!no!explicit!mention!of!environmental!
protection!among!the!specific!objectives!of!the!policy.!
Coherence"with"other"policy"instruments."The!PDO!or!PGI!status!grants!access!to!support!under!Rural!
Development!policy,!for!example!better!access!to!promotion!funds!and!investment!(e.g.!participation!to!
fairs).!GI!producers!are!also!granted!priority!access!to!investment!measures.!Within!the!framework!of!
the!single!CMO,!GI!status!can!help!to!obtain!support!for!promotion!and!investments,!access!to!support!
from!co-financed!EU!programmes!(i.e.!promotion)!and!better!access!to!support!for!promotion!and/or!
investments! funded! by! national! or! regional! governments.! PDOs! and! PGIs! are! relevant! within! trade!
negotiations!(EU-Canad a! Trade! a greement ! CETA,! EU -USA!TTIP,!South!Korea!trade!agreements).!The!
link!with!the!other!quality!scheme!of!the!EU,!Organic!farming,!is!weak.!
Impacts.!As!far!as!economic!impact!is!concerned,!evidence!indicates!that!some!GI!products!do!achieve!
price!premiums!and!gross!margins!over!corresponding!standard!products.!However,!specifications!and!
controls! are! burdensome! and! costly! for! smaller! producers:! impact! assessments! highlight! the!
widespread! failure! of! these! schemes! to! attract! participation! of! small-scale! producers.! As! for! social!
impact,!PDOs!and!PGIs!give!consumers!a!wider!possibility!of!choice,!and!to!local!food!business!a!greater!
visibility!on!the!market.!!
The!impacts!of!traditional! PDO!and!PGI!products!on!health!is! not!explicit,!although!nutritional!values!
are!in! some! cases! part! of! the! valorisation! strategy.! There! is! a! lack! of! impact! assessments! on! the!
environmental!dimensions,!with!few!exceptions!in!relation!to!biodiversity!and!rural!development.!"
Gaps"and" missing"links."The! current! quality! policy!schemes!provide!opportunities!for!GI!producers!
(farmers!and!processors)!through!the!protection!of!intellectual!property!rights.!As!such!they!offer!a!tool!
for!prevention!and!provides!the!legal!framework!for!reacting!effectively!against!attempts!of!imitation,!
misuse,! use! of! “GI-sounding”! terms,! etc.! Indeed,! consumer! awareness! on! the! meaning! of! these!
instruments!should!be!improved!further.!As!we!have!said!before,!the!scheme!has!important!potential!
implications! for! goals! other! than! economic.! However,! at! the! moment! there! is! a! lack! of! an! explicit!
recognition! of! these! implications.! The!key! to! link! to! noneconomic! goals! is! related! to! the! explicit!
embodiment!of!environmental,!ethical!and!resilience!criteria!in!the!development!of!the!code!of!practices.!
!
4.8"Public"Food"Procurement"
Main"acts."Directive!2014/24/EU;!Commission's!Communication!400!(2008)!“Public!procurement!for!
a!better!environment”!
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21
General" aim.! Public! procurement ! concerns! the! acqui sition! by! means! of! a! public! contract! of! works,!
supplies! or! services.! Food! public! procurement! relates! to! the! purchasing! of! (raw)! food! and! the!
contracting!out!of!catering!services!by!public!bodies.!It!applies!to!hospitals,!care!homes,!armed!forces,!
prisons,!and! canteens!in!governmental!buildings!and!education!settings.!The!EU!public!procurement!
directive!lays!out!detailed!rules!on!EU-wide!competitive!tendering!procedures,!falling!within!European!
thresholds.! These!introduce! into! national! law! a! minimum! body! of! public! procurement! rules! for!t he!
award! of! public! contracts! that! fall! within! its! scope.! Contracts! are! awarded! on! the! basis! of! most!
economically!advantageous!tender!that!includes!a!cost!element!and!a!wide!range!of!other!factors!that!
may!influence!the!value!of!a!tender!from!the!point!of!view!of!the!contracting!authority,!including!but!not!
limited!to!environmental!aspects.!Green!Public!Procurement!(GPP)!is!defined!as!“…a!process!whereby!
public! authority!seeks!to! procure! goods,! services! and! works! with! a! reduced! environmental! impact!
throughout!their!life!cycle!when!compared!to!goods,!services!and!works!with!the!same!primary!function!
that!would!otherwise!be!procured”.!
Tools.!GPP! is! a! voluntary,! demand-side! tool.! Regulation! gives! general! principles! on! school! meals!
standards,!dietary!guidelines,!dietary!reference!values,!nutrient!profiling!scheme.!Most!of!the!guidelines!
issued!in!the!EU!are!targeted!at!schools!but!many!also!exist!for!hospitals,!workplace!canteens!as!well!as!
sport!clubs!and!others.!The!European!code!of!best!practices!facilitates!access!to!SMEs!public!contracts,!
national!and!EU!legislations.!Buying!social!is!a!guide!on!taking!account!of!social!considerations!in!public!
procurement.!
Consistency" with" overarching" goals." Public! procurement! is! relevant! for!a!more! sustainable! food!
system!as!it!affects!all!the!sustainability!dimensions!and!can!be!used!to!pursue!all!overarching!goals."
Coherence"with"other"policy"instruments.!The!green!public!procurement!criteria!have!been!based!on!
criteria! used!in!the!granting! of!the!European!Eco-label,!in!particular,!or,!in!the!absence!of!a!European!
label,!national!ecolabels.!They!are!the!result!of!cooperation!between!the!Commission!and!a!group!of!
experts!made!up!of!representatives!from!Member!States.!
Impacts.!The!principle!guiding!sustainable!public!procurement!is!to!activate!a!demand-side!change!in!
the!system.!By!opening!a!market!for!sustainable!food,!public!authorities!can! orient!the!food!system!
towards!sustainability.!By! choosing!to! purchase!products! with! lower!environmental! impacts,! public!
authorities! have! an! instrument! to! reduce! their! environmental! impact! and! provide! industry! with!
incentives!for!developing!green!technologies!and!products.!Nonetheless,!uptake!of!voluntary!GPP!has!
been!relatively!low,!according!to!evidence.!
Economic.!There!is!a!strong!trend!towards!the!aggregation!of!demand!by!public!purchasers,!to!obtain!
economies!of!scale,!including!lower!prices!and!transaction!costs,!and!to!improving!and!professionalising!
procurement!management.!Cost!and!budget!constraints!have!also!been!indicated!as!relevant!in!adopting!
sustainable!procurement!criteria:!case! studies!show! that!the!cost!of! implementing!more!sustainable!
school!meal!policies!may!be!limited.!
Social.!Social!impacts!are!less!measurable,!but!it!is!often!recalled!that!school!food!schemes!have!positive!
impacts! on! food! education,! social! exclusion! and! food! and! nutrition! security!as! well! as! might!also!
influence!the!eating!habits!of!parents!(e.g.!when!children!start!appreciating!fresh!fruit!and!vegetables).!
Health.! The! implementation! of! a! food! procurement! process! that! is! health! sensitive! improves! the!
nutritional!quality!of!the!food!service,!is!linked!with!increased!markers!of!healthy!eating!in!children!and!
has! a! major! role! in! bringing! about! dietary! behavioural! change! (i.e.! increase! of! fruit! and! vegetables!
consumption).!Despite!the!existence!of!school!food!standards!these!remain!in!practice!and!in!many!cases!
not!fully!implemented.!
Ethics!and!resilience!dimensions!are!less!directly!impacted.!
Gaps"and"missing"links.!Public!procurement!can!stimulate!innovation!in!different!ways.!The!demand!
created! for! foods! and! drinks! with! healthier! profiles! may! induce! the! food! industry! to! reformulate!
products!towards!lower!fat!(trans,!saturated!and!total),!salt!and!sugars!content!as!well!as!increased!use!
of!fibre!and!wholegrain!ingredients.!Education!sector!plays!a!central!role!in!shaping!and!driving!demand!
towards! more! sustainable! habits! and! food! environment:! the! introduction! of! sustainable! food!
!
22!
procurement!should!be!backed!up!by!supporting!education!moments!(e.g.!food!classes).!The!market!
volume! related! to! meeting! the! needs! of! public! catering! can! drive! demand! in! a! manner! that! niche!
products!become!larger!markets,!thus!impacting!availability!and!price,!reducing!the!risk!for!companies!
to! invest!in! research! and! innovation! by! adding! further! healthier! products! to! their! portfolio! and!
marketing.!Once!a!relevant!fraction!of!the!market!is!affected,!the!global!and!more!sustainable!shifts!can!
take!place.!Innovation!applies!equally!to!the!food!service.!For!example,!caterers!may!develop!new!and!
improved!means!of!preparing!or!delivering!quality!foods!based!on!new!and!potentially!more!resource-
efficient!technologies.!However,!there!is!often!a!missing!link!with!public!procurement!policies!of!cities,!
which!can! be!the!forerunners!for!sustainable!public!procurement!(e.g.!see!the!case!of!Organic!cities!
network).!
4.9"Competition"Policy"
Main"acts."The!main!competition!rules!of!the!European!Union!are!contained!in!Art.!101,!102,!106,!107!
TFEU;!Regulation!1/2003!(Modernisation!Regulation).!A!large!body!of!case!law!of!the!EU!Courts!clarifies!
and!supplements!the!competition!rules.!
General"aim.!The!competition! policy! of!the!European!Union!has!been!an!element!of! the! constituting!
treaties!of!the!European!Union!since!the!Rome!Treaty!of!1957.!By!promoting!fair!competition,!this!policy!
seeks! to! set! the! conditions! for! a! market! where! businesses! relations! are! fair.! A! reform! of! the! EU!
competition!policy!was!carried!out!in!the!1990s,!which!shifted!the!policy!toward!a!political!conservative!
attitude!pursuing!a!complete!neoliberal!market!integration!(i.e.!less!regulation!is!better!than!regulation!
and!market-based!solutions!are!superior!to!public!intervention).!In!relation! to!agriculture!and! food,!
exceptions!to!the!general!rule!are!formulated!through!the!CMO!policy!and!the!Unfair!Trading!Practices!
(see!coherence!section).!
Tools." The! competition! policy! provides! mainly! governance! tools! aimed! at! reducing! distortions! to!
competition!within!the! internal! market! through! merger!control,!antitrust! enforcement,!and! state!aid!
control.!!
Consistency"with"overarching"goals."The!competition!policy,!in!its!application!to!the!agri-food!sector,!
means! to! be! consistent! with! social! and! economic! goals.! By! promoting! fair! competition,! it! seeks! to!
determine!a!market!where!competition!is!enhanced!and!possibilities!for!equal!economic!opportunities!
and!viability!for!all!businesses,!which!is!one!condition!for!of!healthy!economies,!are! increased.!This!
policy!is!not!explicitly!consistent!with!other!goals,!such!as!health!and!environmental.!
Coherence" wit h" other" policy" instru ments." As! a! bas ic! principl e,! the! compet ition! rul es! apply! t o!t he!
agriculture!sector!in!its!entirety.!Certain!limited!exceptions!exist!for!the!sector!by!virtue!of!Article!42(1)!
TFEU.!These!exceptions!stipulate!that!production!and!trade!rules!specific!to!the!agricultural!sector!will!
apply!according!to! what! defined!by! t he! Single! Common! Marke t! Organi zation! (C MO)! Regu lation ! and!
Regulation!(EC)!No!1184/2006!which!applies!to!products!not!covered!by!the!Single!CMO!Regulation.!
Moreover,!contractual!imbalances!associated!with!unequal!bargaining!power!are!tackled!through!other!
policy! tools! other! than! competition! law! instruments,! such! as,! for! example,! contract! law,! common!
agricultural!policy,!SME!policy,! or!unfair! commercial!practices! laws.! Furthermore,!the!quality! policy!
introduces!special!rules!for!the!producers!of!recognised!quality!products.!In!some!cases,!producers!have!
claimed! more!flexibility!than!what!the!competition!policy!allowed,!and!they!have!not!succeeded!with!
their! requests,! hence! there! is! room! for! a! further! harmonisation! of! the! competition! policy! with! the!
mentioned! instruments.!Another! policy! area! which! is! constrained!by! the! competition! policy! is! the!
voluntary!Public!Procurement!policy,!in!the!definition!of!sustainable!criteria!for!the!public!purchase!of!
foods!and!catering.!
Impacts.! Social! and! economic.! Competition! policy! is! meant! to! have! a! positive! social! impact:! fair!
competition! and! business! relations! shall,! in! turn,!enhance! the! possibilities! for! equal! economic!
opportunities!and!viability!for!all!businesses,!which!is!one!of!the!conditions!of!“healthy”!economies.!
The!review!of!antitrust!and!merger!cases!has!demonstrated!that!the!level!of!enforcement!of!competition!
law!in!the!European!Union,!especially!for!the!food!sector,!has!been!dramatically!weak,!with!no!case!of!
merger! prohibited.! The! application! of! the! competition! rules! and! of! their! derogations! has! not! been!
completely!fulfilled,!which!reduced!the!social!and!economic!impact!of!the!law.!This!leads!to!a!growing!
A$transition$towards$sustainable$food$systems$in$Europe$
23
power! of! large! agri-food! corporations,! with! direct! consequences! on! economic! aspects! such! as!
imbalances!in!bargaining!power,!asymmetric!price!transmission,!price!volatility!and!the!scarce!attention!
given!to!issues!such!as!the!guarantee!of!minimum!working!conditions.!The!derogation!tool!has!not!been!
enforced!enough!to!allow!the!efficient!functioning!of!associations!of!farmers!in!the!form!of!agricultural!
cooperatives.! In!particular,!this!application!of!the!derogation!tool!has!limited!the!activity!of!Producer!
Organisations!and!of!Inter-Branch!Organisations.!As!a!consequence,!the!production!side!of!the!agri-food!
chain,!especially!of!non-processed!products,!remains!atomised!and!weak.!
Resilience.!This!application!of!the!competition!policy!may!have!a!negative!impact!on!resilience.!While!
the! policy! has!not! avoided!concentration! in!the! food! system,!it! has!limited! the! bargaining! power! of!
farmers!by!contrasting!supply!management!strategies.!
Gaps"and"missing"links."The!agri-food!sectors!are!characterised!by!high!competitive!imbalances!(e.g.!
coexistence! of! m ultination al! companies! with! oligopolist ic! or! oligopsonistic! power! and ! farmers! with!
scarce!ability!to!influence!prices,!capture!marketing!gains!and!be!competitive).!Possible!interventions!
should!enhance!countervailing!the! imbalances!among!food!businesses,!and! steering!attention!on!the!
issue!of!working!conditions,!reduced!diversity!and!transparency!in!the!food!system.!Intervention!should!
concern!the!criteria!and!the!assessment!techniques!used!in!the!judgment!of!merger!and!other!activities!
that! might! restrict! competition:! these! criteria! should! include! environmental! sustainability,! decent!
working! conditions,! healthy! and! high-quality! food! affordable! for! people,! and! local! development.!
Interventions!might!also! concern!a!further!harmonisation!of!the!competition!policy!with!other!policy!
instruments!that!supervise!the!conduct!of!food!businesses,!especially!small!and!quality!food!business!
(e.g.!CMO,!the!quality!policy!and!other!CAP!measures!for!small!and!quality!farmers).!
!
4.10"Tackling"Unfair"Trading"Practices""
Main"acts."COM!(2014)!472! Tackling!unfair!trading!practices!in!the! business-to-business!food! supply!
chain.!
General"aim."The!aim!of!the!Communication!is!to!contribute!to!eliminating!or!reducing!unfair!practices!
by!large!retailers!and!food!suppliers!against!their!weaker!trading!parties.!It!emphasises!the!importance!
of!small!businesses!in!the!European!Union’s!food!supply!chain,!by!suggesting!a!combination!of!voluntary!
initiatives!and!national!enforcement!measures!to!prevent!unfair!trading!practices."
Tools."The!communication!recommends!three!supply-based!tools:!support!for!voluntary!supply!chain!
initiatives;!use!of!EU-wide!good!practice!principles;!minimum!enforcement!standards!throughout!the!
EU.!
Consistency"with"overarching"goals.!The!policy!mostly!contributes!to!the!economic!and!social!goals.!
By! improving! the! fairness! of! business! practices! economic! opportunities! will! arise,! also! for! small!
businesses.!However,!the!contribution!to!the!economic!and!social!goal!is!limited!by!a!weak!enforcement!
of!general!fairness!principles!and!by!the!scarce!involvement!of!small!food!business!in!the!initiatives!and!
mechanisms!set!up!within!the!frame!of!the!policy.!
Coherence"with"other"policy"instruments."There!is!no!EU!legislation!targeting!business-to-business!
UTPs!across!the!food!supply!chain.!As!they!have!a!common!aim,!the!policy!can!be!considered!coherent!
with!the!current!Common!Agricultural!Policy,!especially!CMO!and!measures!of!the!2nd!Pillar,!as!far!as!it!
provides! instruments! for! strengthening! the! position! of! small! farmers:! it! includes! tools! such! as!
promoting! organization!of,! and! cooperation! between,!farmers! across! the! EU,! supporting! producers’!
organization!and!vertical!cooperation!within!the!food!chain!in!inter-branch!organizations.!
Impacts."Economic!and!social.!Counteracting!UTPs!is!mostly!done!through!volunteer!actions!that!seek!
to!contribute!to!improve!the!position!of!small!businesses!in!food!chain,!aiming!to!receive!fair!treatments!
and,! in! turn,! achieve! adequate! economic! results.! All! this! is! meant! to! have! social! impacts,! first,! and!
economic!impacts,!later.!
Gaps"and"missing"links."This!policy!can!improve!the!transparency!and!resilience!of!the!food!systems!
with!consequent!benefits!for!consumers.!Further!benefits!to!consumers,!and!citizen!in!general,!might!
derive!if!ecological!and!health!issues!will!be!considered!among!the!criteria!to!detect!fair!businesses!
!
24!
practices.!Some!missing!links!can!be!highlighted!with!the!EU!competition!policy:!the!two!policies!might!
learn!from!each!other!in!the!matter!of!protecting!small!farmer’s!position.!Another!possible!link!could!be!
with!the!Directive!2005/29/EC!on!unfair!commercial!practices!or!Directive!93/13/EEC!on!unfair!terms!
in!consumer!contracts:!this!bridge!would!allow! to!take!into! consideration!the!consumer!side!that! is!
currently!not!considered!in!the!business!–!to!–!business!UTPs!policy.!
!
4.11"Considerations"from"the"assessment""
Despit e! the! limitation s! of! a! compara tive! reading!of!the!selected!policies,!it!is!possible! to!draft!some!
general!observations!concerning!the!potentiality!and!limits!of!these!instruments!in!contributing!to!a!
sustainable!food!system,! in!their!current!formulation!and/or!in!coordination! with!other!instruments.!
Some!cross-cutting!reflections!can!be!made.!
Impact"assessments"considered"in"the"analysis"address"different"sustainability"goals"but"rarely"
all"sustainability"goals"are"analysed."
The! figure! below! presents! how! the! policies! selected! and! assessed! fit! across! the! dimensions! of!
sustainability!proposed.!
!
Figure$3$–$Selected$policies$across$sustainability$dimensions$
!"
Economic!impacts!of!the!policies!selected!are!very!different!in!nature,!due!to!the!intrinsic!diversity!of!
the!policies.!Nonetheless,!studies!focusing!on!economic!impacts!are!available!for!all!the!selected!policies,!
although!with!differing!relevance!according!to!the!objectives!and!scopes.!Concerning!the!impacts!on!the!
social!dimension!of!sustainability,!data!and!information!were!found,!with!variations,!for!almost!all!the!
selected!policies.!Data!and!information!related!to!the!ecological!impacts!were!also!found!for!almost!all!
the! selected! policies,! particularly! when!environmental! protection! represents! the! primary! aim.! In!
relation!to!the!health!objective,!it!should!be!remarked!that,!despite!Art.!168!TFEU!(Health!in!All!Policies)!
–!health!is!not!always!integrated,!as!confirmed!by!the!literature!review!on!impacts!on!health!dimension!
Economic Social Health Ecological Resilience Ethics
Greening, CAP ! ! !
Nitrates Directive " #
Seed market
Directives $ ! ! " ! !
Single Common
Market Organization
$ $ $ $
General Food Law $ # # $ $ !
Labelling " # ! ! !
Quality (PDOs, PGIs,
TSGs) $ ! " " !
Public Food
Procurement ! $ ! $ !
Competition ! ! ! !
Unfair trading
practices ! ! ! !
A$transition$towards$sustainable$food$systems$in$Europe$
25
of! the! selected!policies.! Moreover,! where! health!is!integrated! in! the! context!of!food!and!agricultural!
legislation,!the!focus!is!predominantly!on!food!safety,!which!is!one!of!the!factors!that!relate!to!human!
health.!!!
The!ethical!dimension!–!considered!as!a!stand-alone!policy!objective,!related!to!how!food!is!produced!
and!to!the!transparency,!information!disclosure!and!corporate!responsibility!–!is!rarely!a!primary!focus!
of!impact!assessments.!These!issues!often!emerge!as!cross!cutting!concerns!across!the!food!system,!but!
the!assessment!of!policy!impacts!is!challenging,!not!least!due!to!a!lack!of!suitable!methodology.!Finally,!
resilience!means!that!system!activities!should!increase!or!keep!food!system!diversity,!allocate!resources!
to! crisis! management,! improve! knowledge! about! possible! futures,! improve! system’s! capacity! to!
innovate!for!anticipating!change:!as!for!the!ethical!dimension,!few!explicit!references!have!been!found!
in!literature.!
Policies’"fail"in"achieving"the"main"objectives"for"which"they"were"set."
There!are!cases!in!which!a!policy!shows!limitations!in!its!ability!to!achieve!some!or!all!the!objectives!for!
which!it!was!set.!For!example,!the!“Greening”!tool,!in!line!with!critical!positions!emerging!in!the!current!
debate!on!the!reform!of!the!Common!Agricultural!Policy,!is!a!supply-based!tool!that!has!environmental!
and!economic!impacts!that!are!negligible,!despite!the!inspiring!principles!behind!its!design.!One!of!the!
most! critical! issues! in! the! definition!of! a! “green! payment”! is! its! similarity!to!conditionality,!which!is!
mandatory,! “horizontal”!and! non-selective,!and!imposes!rules!that!are!applicable!in! the!same!way!to!
agricultural!land!throughout!the!EU.!The!policy!design!could!have!aimed!for!a!stronger!measure,!but!it!
was!chosen!to!opt!for!a!broader!and!inevitably!shallower!measure,!which!has!less!pervasive!impacts!on!
a!larger!number!of!farmers.!
Policies’"consistency"with"all"overarching"goals"is"limited.""
There! are! policy! instruments! that! –! based! on! available! assessments! -! succeed,! fully!or! partly,! in!
achieving! the! objectives! for! which! they! were! set,! but! are! not! consistent! with! all! the! sustainability!
objectives!which!have!become!relevant!for!the!sustainability!of!the!food!system.!For!example,!because!
they!were!not!included!in!the!initial!policy!design!or!for!a! limitation!in!the!tools!available.!The!Food!
Quality!Policy!provides!an!example!of!this:!the!PDO!and!PGI!certification!schemes!have!managed,!at!least!
in! some! countries! and! to! some! extent,! to! valorise!traditional! productions,! ensuring! transparent!
information!to!the!consumer!and!a!fair!return!to!the!producers.!However,!the!environmental!concern!is!
not! explicitly! mentioned! in! the! regulation! and! therefore! it! is! not! clearly! stated! to! what! extent!
environmen tal! objectives! s hould! be! formula ted!in! the! production! rules!set! by! the! producers.! Other!
examples!relate!to!policies!that!do!have!a!positive!impact!on!some!of!the!dimensions!but!determine!a!
negative!outcome!on!others:!in!the!case!of!the!Seed!Policy,!economic!and!social!objectives!are!priorities!
of!the!directives!aimed!at!establishing!a!market!for!seeds!that!guarantee!productivity!and!safety!of!food!
crops.! Other!dimensions,! such!as!the!ecological,!ethical!and!resilience!are!negatively!impacted!to! the!
extent!that!“marketability”!of!seeds!determines!a!reduction!of!genetic!diversity!resulting!from!the!seed!
marketing!rules.!
Policies" may" in" princ iple" be" consistent" with" a ll" overarching" goals" but" are" limited"in" terms" of"
implementation."
Even!when!a!policy!addresses!all!the!objectives!of!sustainable!food!systems,!as!it!happens!in!the!case!of!
Sustainable!Public!Procurement,!where!the!public!food!procurer!is!theoretically!in!the!best!position!to!
choose!the!healthier!and!more!sustainable!option!for!its!citizens,!several!obstacles!arise!in!the!definition!
of!what!“sustainable”!means!–!for!example!balancing!the!competing!demands!of!the!food!industry!and!
NGOS!-!and!implementation!–!for!example!by!having!civil!servants!adopt!and!apply!the!correct!tender!
procedures!–!of!the!best!criteria!for!sustainable!procurement.!!
The"policy"instruments"analysed"have"not"been"designed"according"to"a"systemic"and"integrated"
approach."
All!the!instruments!analysed!show!potentiality!in!contributing!to!a!sustainable!food!system!because!they!
impact!on!different!dimensions!of! sustainability,!according!to!their!specific! objectives!and!targets.! At!
the! same! time,! most! of! them! address! the! topic! in! isolation! or! with! a! low! coordination! with! other!
instruments!oriented!to!the! same!policy!goal:!for!example,! the!greening!has! for!the!moment!limited!
capacity!to!contribute!to!changes!in!the!food!system,!but!it!should!also!be!emphasized!that!second!pillar!
!
26!
voluntary!measures!are!not!able!counterbalance!trends!of!overcapitalisation!and!intensification!that!are!
linked!to! the!first!pillar!direct!payments.! Furthermore ,! we!acknowledge!explicit! intention!for!policy!
coordination!between! Competition! policy!and!the!Common! Market!Organization!regulation,!between!
Nitrates! Directive! and! CAP! Cross! Compliance:! nonetheless!complementarities! among! policy!
instruments!are!seen!and!foreseen!but!they!are! not!actually!enforced.!Further:!the! seed! policy! has! a!
clear!impact!on!genetic! resources!that!are!important!for!biodiversity.!However,!synergies!of!the!seed!
policy!with!the!European!Biodiversity!Plan!and!other!policies!such!as!some!measure!of!the!CAP!that!are!
relevant! for!its!implementation! are! just!recommended! in!the!frame!of! a!possible!reform!of!the!seed!
policy,!that!has!not!taken!place!yet.!!
The!contribution!to!the!creation!of!sustainable!food!systems!may!become!stronger!whereas!instruments!
activate!tools!directly!implementable!by!sub-systems:!for! example,!some!of! the!instruments!we! have!
analysed! require! tools! activation! by! regional! governments! (i.e.!Nitrates! Directive),! or! even!city!
governments!(Public!Procurement)!and!this!allows!a!better!targeting!of!the!actions!in!relations!to!local!
specificities.! In! other! cases,! the! involvement! of! sub-systems! is! something! to! recommend! (i.e.! Seed!
Policy),!in!order!to!adapt!the!European!rules!to!local!conditions.!
5."Conclusions"and"recommendations!
Our!analysis!of!EU!policies!has!shown!inconsistencies,!incoherencies,!policy!gaps.!It!has!also!shown!an!
imbalance!between!supply-side!tools!end!demand-side!tools.!The!food!environment!concept!is!currently!
not!a!clear!policy!focus.!Key!actors!in!the!food!sector,!such!as!urban!municipalities,!are!not!involved!in!
the!governance,!and!the!coordination!between!public!efforts!and!private!sustainability!strategies!is!not!
taken!into!consideration.!Even!if!at!regional!and!municipal!level!grassroots!movements!and!other!CSOs,!
together!with!public!authorities,!are!already!generating!a!growing!pressure!to!establish!bottom!up!food!
policies,!these! experiences! need!a! more! coherent! policy! framework! at! EU! level,! able!to! foster! and!
support!their!coordination.!
If,!as!declared!in! several!contexts,!sustainability!of!food! systems! is!a!goal!to!be!addressed,!a!radical!
revision! of! the! existing! policy! infrastructure! is! needed.! We! have! highlighted! that! a! new! policy!
infrastructure!should:!
ü adopt!a! system! approach,! that! acknowledges!the! links! between! system! activities! -! including!
consumption!-!and!their!outcomes;!
ü acknowledge! the! multidimensionality! of! sustainability! performance! of! a! food! system,! and!
including!health,!ethics!and!resilience!as!explicit!goals!of!food!policies;!
ü acknowledge!the!interdependence!between!outcomes!of!food!systems;!
ü acknowledge!and!promote!the!plurality!of!the!food!systems!within!a!common!set!of!principles;!
ü design!policy!tools!upon!an!assessment!of!the!impacts!on!a!comprehensive!model!of!the!food!
system;!
ü promote!a! multilevel! governance!that!gives!power!and!resources!to!urban! administrations! in!
food!policies;!
ü involve!food!value!chains!into!the!promotion!of!sustainable!food!standards!and!in!the!adoption!
of!corporate!social!responsibility!procedures;!
ü balance!direct!regulation,!market-based,!knowledge-related,!governance!and!strategic!tools!into!
an!effective!policy!mix!to!systemically!address!all!the!factors!that!are!blocking!the!system!in!its!
current!unsustainable!pathway;!
ü balance! financial! resources!across! different! policy! domains!(e.g.! regional! policies! and!
agricultural!and!rural!development!policies);!
ü strengthen!the!role!of!demand-side!policies!and!promote!food!environment!policy!tools.!
A! policy! mix! approach! warns! us! against! the! risk! of! trying! to! catch! all! the! complexity! into! one!
comprehensive!policy.!We!have!seen!that!policies!need!focus!and!at!the!same!time!awareness!of!direct!
and! indirect!impacts! on!other! systems.!Agricultural! policies!do! not!only! impact!on! food:! they! are! a!
component! of! environmental! policies,! landscape! planning,! energy! policies,! and! cohesion!policies.!
Likewise,!food!policies!may!interact!with!health!policies,!social! policies,!environmental!policies,!and!
even!with!cultural!policies.!!
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27
We!believe!that,!rather!than!embodying!the!agricultural!policy!into!a!broader!food!policy,!it!would!be!
more!effective!to!encourage!the! food!policy!construction! around!strategic!goals,!fostering!integration!
and!coherence!between!policies,!reorganization!of!existing!tools!-!for!example,!fruit!and!milk!schemes,!
public!procurement,!labelling,!food!education!-!and!introduction!of!new!tools!when!necessary.!The!role!
of!grassroots!movements!and!of!municipalities,!on!this!regard,!can!be!crucial,!as!they!can!foster!a!system!
change!from!below.!!
The!introduction!of!strategic!tools!-!like!a!specific!Action! Plan!and!the!EU!sustainable!food!scoreboard!
proposed!by!the!EESC!(2017)!-!would!propose!new!system!representations,!set!updated!policy!goals,!
check! the! existing! policy! tools! against! the! new! goals,! identify! missing! policy! tools! and! mobilize! all!
stakeholders!in!the!construction!of!a!coherent!policy!mix.!
This!new!policy!infrastructure!cannot!be!created!without!a! policy!process!that!promotes!integration!
between!actors!and!administration!bodies!in!building!new!systems!representations.!We! have!pointed!
out!that!changing!visions,!and!consequently!policy!frames,!implies!a!deep!understanding!of!processes!
of!knowledge!production,!use!and!communication.!Better!information!can!help!consumers!reflect!on!the!
consequences!of!their!choice.!Better!education!can!foster!awareness!of!the!link!between!diet!and!health!
or!between!diet!and!the!environment.!Adequate!metrics!can!help!producers!and!distributors!to!assess!
the!sustainability!performance!of!their!organizational!patterns!and!of!their!sourcing!strategies.!A!good!
use! of!policy! evaluation! can! make! institutions! move! faster! and! better! in! policy! implementation.!
Involvement! of! civil! society! organizations! can! contribute! to! a! more! socially! robust! system!
representation,!to!solve!ethical!dilemmas!and!to!stimulate!reflection!on!future!challenges.!!
6."References"
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United!Nations!Human!Rights!Council![A/HRC/16/49],!8!March!2011.!
European!Economic! and!Social!Committee!(2017)!Civil!society's!contribution!to!the!development!of!a!
comprehensive!food!policy!in!the!EU,!NAT/711!
Fresco,! L.! O.,! &! Poppe,! K.! J.! (2016).! Towards! a! common! agricultural! and! food! policy.! Wageningen!
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Henle,!K.,!Alard,!D.,!Clitherow,!J.,!Cobb,!P.,!Firbank,!L.,!Kull,!T.,!...!&!Wascher,!D.!(2008).!Identifying!and!
managing! the!conflicts! between!agriculture! and!biodiversity! conservation! in! EuropeA!review.!
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HLPE,!2014.!Food!losses!and!waste!in!the!context!of!sustainable!food!systems.!A!report!by!the!High!
Level!Panel!of!Experts!on!Food!Security!and!Nutrition!of!the!Committee!on!World!Food!Security,!
Rome!2014.!!
HLPE,!2017.!Nutrition!and!food!systems.!A!report!by!the!High-Level!Panel!of!Experts!on!Food!Security!
and!Nutrition!of!the!Committee!on!World!Food!Security,!Rome.!
Howlett,!M.!&!Jeremy!Rayner!(2007)!Design!Principles!for!Policy!Mixes:!Cohesion!and!Coherence!in!‘New!
Governance!Arrangements’,!Policy!and!Society,!26:4,!1-18!
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IPES! FOOD! (2017)! Updated! Concept! Note:! October! 2017! Towards! A! Common! Food! Policy! for!The!
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assessing!their!performance!and!sustainability.!Journal$of$Rural$Studies,!52,!21-32.!
Mason!P.,!Tim!Lang!(2017)!Sustainable!Diets:!How!Ecological!Nutrition!Can!Transform!Consumption!
and!the!Food!System!1st!Edition.!London:!EarthScan!
Meyfroidt,!P.,!Lambin,!E.!F.,!Erb,!K.!H.,!&!Hertel,!T.!W.!(2013).!Globalization!of!land!use:!distant!drivers!of!
land! change! and! geographic! displacement! of! land! use.! Current! Opinion! in! Environmental!
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"
Annex"
"
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30!
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Annex"1:"Methodology"
Steps"of"the"research"
The!research!on!which!this!report!is!based!upon!comprises!three!main!steps:!
1. Preliminary!mapping!of!policies!relevant!for!sustainable!food!systems!(desk-study)!
2. Selection!of!policy!instruments!and!tools!for!in-depth!assessment!(focus!group)!
3. In!depth!analysis!of!selected!policies!(desk-study).!!
!
1. Preliminary"mapping"of"policies"relevant"for"the"European"food"system"
"
The!scope!of!the!study!is! to!analyse!the!policies!that!influence!the!development!of!a!sustainable!food!
system!in!the!European!Union.!The!issue!of!sustainability!in!the!food!system!concerns!several,!if!not!all,!
the!policy!domains!on!which!the!European!Institutions!and!the!Member!States!legislate.!!
!
Given!that!the!research!contract!agreed!would!not!allow!considering!all!the!relevant!policy!acts!in!an!
exhaustive!way,!a!selection!of!relevant!policy!instruments!to!be!mapped!was!necessary.!As!a!firs