European and Global Initiatives towards Sustainable Diets

1. The Farm to Fork Strategy Initiative

What is the Farm to Fork Strategy?

As part of the Green Deal,
the EU Farm to Fork Strategy seeks to rethink the whole food value chain in order to improve its sustainability at each step: 
from production to consumption. 8

‘‘The Farm to Fork Strategy aims to accelerate our transition to a sustainable food system that should:

  • have a neutral or positive environmental impact
  • help to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts
  • reverse the loss of biodiversity
  • ensure food security, nutrition and public health, making sure that everyone has access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, sustainable food
  • preserve affordability of food while generating fairer economic returns, fostering competitiveness of the EU supply sector and promoting fair trade’’

Picture from Farm to Fork strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system Farm to Fork Strategy (europa.eu)

Pictures from European Union, 2020. From Farm to Fork: Our food, our health, our planet, our future. The European Green Deal. 978-92-76-61881-2

2. The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health: The Planetary Health Diet

EAT is a global, non-profit foundation established by the Stordalen Foundation, Stockholm Resilience Centre and Wellcome Trust to catalyze a food system transformation.

Main background: 

  • Food is seen as the single strongest lever to optimise human health and environmental sustainability on the planet.
  • Global food production threatens climate stability and ecosystem resilience and constitutes the single largest driver of environmental degradation and transgression of planetary boundaries.
  • A radical transformation of the global food system is needed and large-scale and coordinated efforts are required.

Can healthy food save the planet?

The findings of the EAT-Lancet report explained.

Pictures from Summary Report of the EAT-Lancet Commission, Healthy Diets From Sustainable Food Systems. Food Planet Health.

Scientific targets define the safe operating space for food systems and are represented here by the orange ring. The wedges represent either dietary patterns or food production, and together they reflect various dietary patterns that may or may not meet scientific targets for human health and environmental sustainability, i.e. outside of the safe operating space. These dietary patterns can be “healthy and unsustainable” (win-lose), “unhealthy and sustainable” (lose-win), “unhealthy and unsustainable” (lose-lose) and “healthy and sustainable” (win-win).

What is a healthy and sustainable diet?

The EAT-Lancet Lecture – Johan Rockström & Walter Willett

‘‘A planetary health plate should consist by volume of approximately half a plate of vegetables and fruits; the other half, displayed by contribution to calories, should consist of primarily whole grains, plant protein sources, unsaturated plant oils, and (optionally) modest amounts of animal sources of protein.’’ 10

Picture from Summary Report of the EAT-Lancet Commission, Healthy Diets From Sustainable Food Systems. Food Planet Health. 

GOAL: To Achieve Planetary Health Diets for Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050

2 scientific Targets:

  • Target 1 🡪 Healthy Diets
  • Target 2 🡪 Sustainable Food Production

5 Strategies for a Great Food Transformation:

  • Strategy 1: Seek international and national commitment to shift toward healthy diets
  • Strategy 2: Reorient agricultural priorities from producing high quantities of food to producing healthy food
  • Strategy 3: Sustainably intensify food production to increase high-quality output
  • Strategy 4: Strong and coordinated governance of land and oceans
  • Strategy 5: At least halve food losses and waste, in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals