What You Should Know

The Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy, published by the European Commission in May 2020, is a centralized attempt to adapt European agriculture to the pressing challenges of the day. Extensively criticized by the U.S., the F2F turns a blind eye to the best interests of European farmers and consumers, and risks doing more harm than good not only at home but also abroad. The F2F serves as a lesson in how not to approach agriculture in the 21st century.

The COVID-19 crisis has shown that the resilience of food systems is pivotal. Future pandemics combined with environmental challenges call for a science-based approach to food production both in the EU and worldwide. Although noble in intent, the Farm to Fork strategy’s bold push for organic farming doesn’t provide viable solutions to pressing climate problems and will only lead to higher consumer prices, more illicit trade, and more food insecurity.

The Farm to Fork strategy assumes that organic farming is more sustainable than conventional farming and should be given every preference. To achieve that, the European Commission proposed to cut the use of pesticides in the EU by 50 percent while increasing organic farming in agricultural production from 7.5 percent to 25 percent. However, such a commitment is neither climate-friendly nor feasible.

Rather than imitate the F2F strategy, the U.S. should strive to preserve its competitive edge in food production and only see the F2F as a reminder of why politics has no place in agriculture.