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Farm to Fork and EU Biodiversity: impacts on the economy and food security

Study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture

The European Commission (Ce) has announced its Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies which could result in restrictions on EU agriculture, through targeted reductions in the exploitation of land, in the use of fertilizers, antimicrobials and pesticides. The strategies represent a fundamental change in EU food and agricultural policy, with equally fundamental implications for the structure and productivity of food and industrial agriculture. As the Union is a major agricultural producer and participates in international agricultural trade, this policy change is likely to affect international markets for agricultural products and, consequently, the wider food and agricultural system.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), in order to examine the economic implications of European strategies, conducted an analysis by running a series of simulations of political maneuvers based on many of the objectives proposed by the EU, using three different scenarios: actions applied only within the Union, adoption of strategies globally, and effects on exports. In all these scenarios, the study reveals that the input reductions proposed by the Union affect farmers by reducing their agricultural production by 7 to 12% and decreasing their competitiveness on both the domestic and export markets.

To examine the potential effects on the market and the food safety impacts of the EC proposal, the researchers focused on several agricultural input reductions selected and specified in the EU strategies: reduction of the use of pesticides by 50%, reduction of the use of fertilizers by 20%, reduction of the use of antimicrobials for livestock by 50% and deprivation of cultivation of 10% of existing land for agricultural use.

The survey reveals that the adoption of these strategies could have global impacts, causing world food prices to rise from 9% (EU adoption) to 89% (global adoption), negatively impacting consumer budgets and, finally, by reducing the well-being of society worldwide from 96 billion to 1.1 trillion dollars, depending on the extent to which other countries adopt such strategies. The USDA estimates that the increase in food prices would be followed by a greater number of people subject to food insecurity in the most vulnerable regions of the world. The figure could range from 22 million (EU adoption) to 185 million (global adoption).

Attached is the complete study of the United States Department of Agriculture.

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EFA News - European Food Agency
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