Towards a Common Food Policy

A Democratic Approach

#EU3F

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Since 2016, The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) has been undertaking a collaborative process of research and reflection to identify what tools would be required to deliver sustainable food systems in Europe. The ‘Common Food Policy’ vision that emerges will offer a comprehensive and holistic plan for the EU as it considers reforming the Common Agricultural Policy and other policy frameworks.

 

The EU Food and Farming Forum will be a historic event whereby key food system actors from across Europe will come together to co-construct a set of policy proposals addressed to the EU for a comprehensive ‘Common Food Policy’. Taking place symbolically one year before the 2019 EU elections, the Forum will yield concrete proposals to be taken up by political parties, campaign groups and ultimately by the EU institutions.

Dynamic Working Groups

Working Groups will detail and refine 6 key thematic areas of a Common Food Policy

Panels & Keynotes

Large collaborative sessions will set overarching goals and galvanize energy and enthusiasm

Sustainable Food Scoreboard

The forum will map out a path to sustainable food systems in Europe by identifying a set of inter-dependent objectives and sub-objectives, actions allowing those priorities to be met, and allocating responsibility to different actors/governance levels.

SPEAKERS

Guest Speakers, Panelists, and Working Group Leaders include:

Olivier De Schutter
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Olivier De Schutter

IPES-Food

Marie-Monique Robin
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Marie-Monique Robin

Documentary filmmaker

Carlo Petrini
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Carlo Petrini

Slow Food

Rob Hopkins
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Rob Hopkins

Transition Movement

Peter Schmidt
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Peter Schmidt

European Economic Social Committee

Thomas Dresel
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Thomas Dresel

City of Freiburg

Maria Bottiglieri
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Maria Bottiglieri

City of Turin

Peter Andrée
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Peter Andrée

Carleton University

Mylène Fourcade
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Mylène Fourcade

Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole

Deirdre (Dee) Woods
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Deirdre (Dee) Woods

UK People's Food Policy

PROGRAM

Co-creating a Common Food Policy vision

Registration

and coffee

60min

Welcome Plenary – Introductions & Opening Remarks

Session in English/Français 
Welcome by Olivier De Schutter

Welcome by Moderator and explanation of EU3F methods and objectives

20

Plenary 1 – Integrated Food Policies at the National Level

(Session in English/Français)

What can we learn from efforts to create integrated food policies at the national level? Lessons learned from Canada's National Food Policy process and the UK's People's Food Policy.

• Peter Andrée (Associate Professor & Associate Chair - Department of Political Science, Carleton University, Member of Food Secure Canada)
• Diana Bronson (Executive Director, Food Secure Canada)
• Deirdre 'Dee' Woods (Co-editor of UK People's Food Policy)

50

Coffee Break

20min

Plenary 2 – Introduction to 6 Preparatory Working Groups

Session in English/Français

Introduction to EU3F Preparatory Working Groups
How to move towards a Common Food Policy for the EU?

• Nikolai Pushkarev (EPHA) - Delivering healthy & sustainable diets for all
• Pierre-Marie Aubert/Xavier Poux (IDDRI) - Rebuilding agro-ecosystems to increase resource efficiency and circularity, conserve landscapes, and address climate change
• Damien Conaré (Chaire UNESCO) - Harnessing the potential of urban food policies, city-region planning and alternative food systems
• Nick Jacobs (IPES-Food) - Designing trade & development policies the support sustainable food systems in the EU and around the world
• Marta Messa (Slow Food) - Building sustainable food livelihoods & functional supply chains
• Colin Anderson (CAWR - University of Coventry) - Ensuring accountable, participatory governance & monitoring of progress

30

Parallel Working Session 1

1h30

Lunch

90mins

Plenary 3 – Integrated Food Policies at the Local Level

(Session in English/Français)
What are the obstacles and opportunities to develop integrated food policies at the local level? How can the EU better support local choices?

• Maria Bottiglieri (Turin)
• Thomas Dresel (Freiburg)
• Mylène Fourcade (Montpellier)
• Tine Heyse (Ghent)
• (Bruxelles)

Moderator: Olivier De Schutter

1h00

Coffee Break

30

Parallel Working Session 2

1h30

End of Day Plenary

Session in English/Français

Convergence following the day's proceedings

30

Dinner Reception

2h00

Public Event – « À Table! Putting Food Democracy on the Menu »

(Session in English/Français)

What are the necessary ingredients for a transition to sustainable food and farming systems in the EU?

Join Rob Hopkins (Founder of the Transition Movement), Carlo Petrini (Founder and Director of Slow Food), Marie-Monique Robin (Award-winning documentary filmmaker) and Sir Paul McCartney (by video address) for an evening of discussion and debate.

Moderator: Olivier De Schutter

1h30

Registration

with coffee

30min

Morning Plenary – Recap of Discussions of Day 1

Session in English/Français

A brief recap of the discussions held on Day 1 and explanation of methods for Day 2 proceedings.

15

Working Session in Plenary 1

(Session in English/Français)

Discussion and vote

2h

Coffee Break

30min

Working Session in Plenary 2

Session in French/English

Discussion and vote

1h30

Lunch

1h30

Closing Plenary – Reactions and Commitments to Food Policy Scoreboard

(Session in English/Français)

45

VENUE

BluePoint Brussels
80 Bd. A. Reyers
1030 Brussels
infobrussels@bluepoint.be
T +32 (0)2 706 88 00

BluePoint Conference Center

Accommodation
Suggestions

REGISTER

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The EU Food & Farming Forum will be held May 29-30, 2018. Registration is by invitation via email link. Please be in touch with our event team eu3f@ipes-food.org if you have not been contacted and you would like to participate.

 

A Public Event will be held the evening of May 29th, 2018

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Public Event

Forum Materials

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One month before the Forum, participants will receive the draft ‘Sustainable Food Scoreboard’ to review before arrival. It will contain six chapters, corresponding to the six working groups at the Forum:

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Rebuilding agro-ecosystems to increase resource efficiency and circularity, conserve landscapes, and address climate change
Harnessing the potential of urban food policies, city-region planning and alternative food systems‎
Delivering healthy & sustainable diets for all‎
Designing trade & development policies that support sustainable food systems in EU and around the world‎
Ensuring accountable, participatory governance & monitoring of progress‎
Building sustainable farm livelihoods and functional supply chains

FAQs

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A series of Frequently Asked Questions about EU3F:

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Q. In a nutshell, what is the EU Food and Farming Forum 2018?

The EU Food and Farming Forum 2018 (‘EU3F’) is a two-day event bringing together 200 food system actors from around Europe to co-develop a comprehensive set of policy proposals – a ‘Sustainable Food Scoreboard’ – for reforming European food and farming systems.

Q. How have the initial ideas been developed, and who has been involved?

The Forum is the culmination of IPES-Food’s 3-year process of research and reflection to co-construct a ‘Common Food Policy’ vision for the EU. This vision has been built through a series of multi-stakeholder Policy Labs in Brussels, a series of Local Labs in various cities around Europe, and collaborative work between IPES-Food and 30 partner organizations to build a draft ‘Sustainable Food Scoreboard’ in the run-up to the Forum. The goal is to prepare the ground for debate at the Forum, where these initial ideas will be challenged, adapted and developed by a wider range of stakeholders.

Q. Who are the other participants? Do they all agree already?

The EU Food and Farming Forum will bring together around 200 people working on food systems reform around Europe. They will include members of civil society groups, social movements, local food system initiatives, the food and farming sectors, scientists, and policymakers from the local, national and EU level. Those involved are already committed to food systems reform – but may not agree on how to get there. Participants will take part in their individual capacity, while bringing the perspectives of the organizations they represent. Participation is by invitation only, in order to ensure a balance of different actors.

Q. How will the Forum be structured?

EU3F is not a typical conference. Most of the time will be dedicated to discussion and deliberation in order to reach consensus on the reforms that are needed to build sustainable food systems in Europe. In the workshops they have selected to attend on Day 1, participants will deepen the analysis of the problems in food systems and how to solve them. The plenary sessions will bring together the progress made in different groups, seeking to address the tensions and trade-offs between different priorities. On Day 2, participants will be invited to vote directly on specific proposals via digital tools, allowing a Sustainable Food Scoreboard to emerge (see below). After the final stage of deliberation, representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission and other EU institutions will address the plenary to give their response to the emerging proposals.

Q. What will be expected of me? Do I need to be an expert on all the topics being discussed?

Participants will receive the background documents (the draft ‘Sustainable Food Scoreboard’) one month before the forum, and will be expected to read them before arrival. These documents will provide the starting point for discussion, and will be recapped by the organizers at the start of Day 1. Participants will play an active role over two days of intensive deliberation, but are not expected to have technical expertise on all aspects under discussion. An overview of the deliberative methods and how to participate through the Forum will be provided at the outset of Day 1.

Q. What are the ultimate goals of the Forum?

  1. Co-constructing a ‘Sustainable Food Scoreboard’. This Scoreboard will take shape through the preparatory work currently underway and the two days of deliberation at the Forum. It will map out a path to sustainable food systems in Europe by identifying a set of inter-dependent objectives and sub-objectives, actions allowing those priorities to be met, and allocating responsibility to different actors/governance levels. The Scoreboard will also include policy indicators (monitoring the actions adopted) and outcome indicators (monitoring the results achieved).

 

  1. Supporting the emergence of a sustainable food movement in Europe. Public health campaigners in Slovenia may not see common cause with organic seed companies in Spain or community-supported agriculture networks in Germany. Yet achievement of all of their goals is contingent on radically changing the incentives in food and farming systems, including EU-level policies. Building shared understandings between these actors, and unifying them behind a series of policy proposals, would create a powerful voice for change. Supporting the emergence of a unified sustainable food and farming movement in Europe is both a means to building a Common Food Policy vision, and an end in itself.

Q. Do I have to endorse the final outcomes?

No. Participants will contribute to building a shared analysis – but the final outcome will not reflect anyone’s views entirely, and participants will not be asked to endorse it officially. It is hoped nonetheless that the Scoreboard will capture the consensus in the room, and will become a useful advocacy tool for many participants in their subsequent activities. Following the Forum, IPES-Food will publish the Sustainable Food Scoreboard as part of a final report on a Common Food Policy for the EU.

Q. What languages will be used at the Forum?

The plenary sessions will take place in English and French with simultaneous translation. The working groups will take place in English, but French/English translation will always be available in one of the six groups.

Q. What will it cost to attend the Forum? Can the organizers support my participation?

The Forum is being held free of charge in order to facilitate wide participation. Food and drink will be covered on both days, including the evening event on Tuesday 29th May. A small amount of funding will be available to support the participation of those unable to cover their own travel and accommodation costs, particularly members of local initiatives, social movements and farming organizations. Those wishing to request financial support should contact eu3f@ipes-food.org ASAP.

Q. Where is the Forum venue, and can I find accommodation nearby?

The Forum will be held at the BluePoint Brussels conference centre, 80 Bd. A. Reyers, 1030 Brussels. A limited number of rooms have been blocked at the Chelton and Derby hotels in close proximity to the conference centre. Participants interested in booking a room in one of these hotels should contact eu3f@ipes-food.org ASAP.

Q. Will I have a chance to share the work my organization is doing?

Participants will be able to display a limited number of materials on thematic islands in the plenary room, and will be able to engage with visitors to these islands during the coffee breaks and lunches. Space will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis: those interested in exhibiting materials should contact the organizers ASAP at eu3f@ipes-food.org.

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Why do we need a Common Food Policy for Europe?

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Q. Food is cheap and abundant in Europe - why do we need to reform our food systems?

A. Current food and farming systems are designed to keep food prices down – but they do so at a huge cost to human health, the environment and farmers’ livelihoods. More than half of adults in the EU are now either overweight or obese, leading to a range of non- communicable diseases. Meanwhile, food systems account for up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, as well as driving rapid biodiversity loss and soil degradation. And family farms are struggling to stay in business: one out of four farms disappeared from the European landscape from 2003-2013. In other words, the cheap food model is actually very costly, and cannot be sustained.

Q. Why can’t we solve these problems with current policies? Shouldn’t we focus on reforming the CAP?

A. A whole range of policies affect Europe’s food and farming systems, but they respond to incoherent and conflicting objectives, miss out on important synergies, and allow key priorities to fall through the cracks. For example:

  • While the EU has pledged to align all policies with climate and development goals, EU trade policies continue to encourage farmers in high-emitting sectors like meat and dairy to seek new export markets.
  • A series of policies and roadmaps have been developed to tackle obesity, but they have failed to adequately address its root causes, including food production incentives that are poorly-aligned with dietary goals.
  • Protecting soils in the face of degradation and nutrient loss could deliver major environmental and health benefits, but the EU and its members states have failed to act and the proposed Soil Framework Directive remains stalled since 2006.
  • The job-creating potential of sustainable agriculture has been largely ignored in the EU’s quest to reduce unemployment and create ‘green jobs’.
  • While rural development schemes support the viability of small-scale farms, the EU’s food safety policies impose a regulatory burden that is too costly for smaller farms.

Q. What is a food policy and why does the EU need one?

A. A ‘Common Food Policy’ means an umbrella policy that aligns actions across different policy areas (e.g. agriculture, trade, environment, food safety) and different levels of governance (European, national, local) in support of building sustainable food systems. Getting there requires ambitious and coordinated shifts in food production, processing, distribution, consumption etc. Only an umbrella policy with a mandate to address the whole system can sequence these wide- ranging actions, set a clear direction of travel, and overcome short-term decision-making.

Q. Does a food policy mean shifting money away from farmers? Who would it benefit?

A. Not necessarily. A food policy would in fact allow the logic of public subsidies to be updated and re-legitimized as part of a new contract between farmers, the food industry, and society. By bringing a wider range of actors around the table, a food policy would allow alliances to be built between all of those with an interest in moving away from the current low-cost, high-externality model, and making it pay to farm sustainably (i.e. farmers, sustainable food businesses, consumer and health groups, environmental NGOs etc.).

Q. Would a Common Food Policy cost even more than the Common Agricultural Policy?

A. A food policy would reduce the total costs and inefficiencies of existing policies, and would therefore pay for itself. We currently pay three times for the food we eat: in addition to what we pay at the store, we pay agricultural subsidies to support farmers’ incomes, and we pay to compensate for the negative impacts of what is produced and consumed (in particular, healthcare costs linked to obesity and environmental damage caused by unsustainable modes of farming). The raison d’être of an integrated food policy is to bring different policies into coherence and avoid these types of costly trade-offs. A food policy would therefore prioritize sustainable practices that do not generate hidden costs (or ‘externalities’).

Q. Would a food policy give the EU more policy powers?

A. Rather than transferring new powers to the EU, a food policy would require the EU to exercise its existing powers more efficiently and deliver better results. The main purpose of a food policy is to coordinate and align actions across different policy areas and levels of governance. This means setting a clear direction of travel at EU level, while aligning policies at various levels in a way that reinforces the grassroots initiatives that are already transforming food systems around Europe.

Q. Who supports a food policy?

Integrated food policies or ‘urban food policies’ already exist in a number of cities in Europe and around the world. National food policies are also being developed in several member states. Calls for a shift towards integrated food system governance and integrated food policies at the EU level have been made by the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, party groups in the European Parliament, the European Commission’s in-house scientific advisers (the JRC, the European Environmental Agency, SCAR) and a wide range of civil society and scientific groups.

groups, environmental NGOs etc.). Rather than pitting farmers against sustainability campaigners, it would allow a sustainable food and farming movement to emerge.

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