(Brussels, 20 May 2020) Today, the European Commission launched its Biodiversity Strategy to 2030, which aims to halt biodiversity loss and preserve and restore its ecosystems across the continent and beyond.
Comment from FoodDrinkEurope Environment Director Laura Degallaix:
We are pleased to see the European Commission recognise the need for ambitious measures to safeguard biodiversity.
Across Europe, and globally, we are witnessing a worrying loss of certain fauna and flora. For this reason, it is urgent to mainstream biodiversity and resource efficiency with climate objectives while ensuring the proper implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
As Europe’s largest manufacturing sector and a major buyer of raw materials, food and drink companies have an important role to help deliver the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy. Today, more than ever, we are committed to working closely with our supply chain partners to enhance biodiversity and contribute to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
We are also fully committed to eliminating deforestation and to ensuring that food raw materials are sustainably sourced within and beyond European borders.
We will continue to encourage and support more sustainable agricultural production with actions and investments that help scale up regenerative farming practices that protect water and restore carbon in the soil. We also stress that the Commission’s targets on organic farming and agricultural inputs must be based on thorough impact assessments to ensure Europe’s secure and sustainable supply of quality, safe and affordable food.
The Commission can help drive these changes through establishing the right regulatory and legislative environment. To this end, policies such as the European Climate Law, the Common Agricultural Policy, the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Circular Economy Action Plan, and the new Biodiversity Strategy, have an important role to play to support all actors across the supply chain, including consumers, achieve the goal of a swift transition towards more sustainable food systems.
At international level, we support the EU’s efforts to include Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters in EU Free Trade Agreements which reflect biodiversity and climate objectives and need to advocate ambitiously for global, science-based biodiversity targets.
While the food and drink industry acknowledges its part in the shared responsibility towards more sustainable production and consumption, it is important that policy measures reflect the need for businesses to recover in the aftermath of coronavirus. We call on EU lawmakers to develop a policy environment that can support both biodiversity and jobs – leaving no one behind. (For more on this point, see our response to the Farm to Fork Strategy also published today, 20 May 2020).
This EU’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 outlines the European Commission’s goal to preserve and restore our ecosystems and set new standards for biodiversity cutting across climate, agriculture, industry, trade and economic policies.
The Commission is also committed to lead the world in the negotiations on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted next year, following key negotiations in New York in September this year.
The Strategy outlines the proposed EU position for the global negotiations and puts forward EU commitments to address the main causes of biodiversity loss by 2030.
As an integral element of the European Green Deal, the strategy will also contribute to EU and global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It also follows up on the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020.
For more details on how the food manufacturing industry can contribute to environmental targets, please refer to FoodDrinkEurope’s feedback to the Commission roadmap on the Biodiversity strategy, FoodDrinkEurope’s position paper on climate change, deforestation, and contribution paper on sustainable food systems.