EPHA - the European Public Health Alliance has responded to the European Commission consultation on the Future of the Common Agriculture Policy, outlining what measures must be taken for a healthier Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) in Europe and outside of its boundaries.
From a public health point of view, EPHA expects a CAP based on equity, the universal right to safe, affordable, nutritious food, as well as good governance and transparency in the food supply chain. These principles need to apply beyond the EU boundaries.
The CAP needs to be reformed to be in line with current and future challenges related to the provision of a nutritious diet for all, the prevention of chronic diseases, climate change and global food security. Improved coherence of European policies, including public health, food safety, trade, development, regional, environment, climate change, consumer and social policies is needed.
This means a European agriculture policy that:
provides a decent standard of living for European farmers, creates jobs and maintains communities without detrimental impacts on agriculture and on the economies of developing countries;
contributes to strategies aimed at preventing chronic diseases and at reducing health inequalities;
produces enough healthy food tailored to local needs to contribute feeding a growing world population;
addresses the challenges of climate change by reducing green house gas emissions from food production and transportation. The current agro-chemical production model must be recognised as one of the causes of climate change in Europe;
contributes to the conservation of natural resources including those relating to biodiversity, soil and water.
EPHA therefore advocates for:
1. Policy coherence with development goals as set by the EU
2. Innovative policy instruments that provides multiple benefits for society that could improve access to healthy food for Europe`s most vulnerable
3. Tools promoting the affordability of high-quality, safe and nutritious diets for all in Europe, including lower socio-economic groups
4. Concrete incentives to move towards a more sustainable and fair food system within and outside of the EU
5. Investment in agro-ecological and human ecological models of research to move production and consumption towards increasingly plant-based diets
6. Sound social, health and environmental Impact Assessments of the CAP
7. Stopping tobacco subsidies