Euroseeds welcomes the publication of the roadmap for the Farm to Fork strategy and strongly supports the objective of sustainable, future-oriented food system in Europe.
As announced in the communication on the Green Deal, this strategy will cover all stages of the food chain, including upstream industries that supply inputs to farmers. From our point of view, this is not fully reflected in the roadmap, especially when defining the consultation and collection of relevant information on the challenges.
In this respect, we want to highlight the role that plant breeding plays on agricultural sustainability (and, as a consequence, on the entire agri-food chain). For example, new plant varieties increase and secure crop yields while reducing the use of plant protection products, fertilizers and other inputs; improve plant health and qualities; prolong the shelf life of fresh produce thereby supporting healthier diets and addressing food waste. In this way, plant breeding is working for a sustainable intensification of agriculture to protect and preserve scarce natural resources. A more extensive explanation can be found in the attached document.
Euroseeds firmly believes in the role of innovation and technologies in agriculture as the way to provide a more sustainable food production. Companies active in the plant breeding and seed production are amongst the most innovative in Europe and meet the challenging and ever-evolving needs of farmers and the rest of the agri-food chain, including consumer preferences and policy objectives.
We also encourage Commission to include relevant European Technology Platforms such as the “ETP Plants for the Future” which could make a very valuable contribution. The Plant ETP e.g. involves plant scientists from public research, farmers and cooperatives as well as plant breeding companies.
About the different ways to consult stakeholders, we recognise the usefulness of a dedicated advisory group and would urge a regular exchange with this group which could then serve as a platform to share information and advice on the strategy (both in terms of drafting content and follow-up).
Finally, we want to reiterate our commitment to an open dialogue and our sector’s active contribution to achieve the important goals outlined in the strategy.