What is sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture is a set of production methods that contribute to the rational use of natural resources, fully meeting the needs of societies and keeping them in parallel available for future generations.

The principles of sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture base on a specific frame of principles which are the following:

  • Respect the environment and the protection of the natural resources
  • Keep the farms and producers financial sustainable
  • Offering to the next generations the opportunity to fulfill their needs
Production methods applied in sustainable agriculture:

  • Avoid using or make minimum use of pesticides and fertilizers in order to keep the soil and the water resources healthy
  • Make a wise use of water during the production
  • Minimizing as much as possible air and water pollution
  • Storing carbon on farms
  • Increasing resilience to extreme weather decreasing that way the loss on the crops
  • Promoting biodiversity
What are the benefits of the sustainable agriculture?

By adopting sustainable agricultural methods societies can reduce their
dependency on nonrenewable resources and chemical use, and finally
produce delicious and superior quality products.

Food waste and loss:

By talking about food loss, we mean the mass decrease of food that it was meant to be used by people as food. The food loss is mainly caused by problems in logistics, lack of technology, and bad operation of the supply chain sector. On the other hand food waste is when food for human consumption is being discarded because it is spoiled mostly the expire date has been exceeded, or because there is over supplement of the supermarkets and food stores and they can not sell the products on time.

Food waste does not only mean that valuable and often scarce resources such as water, soil, and energy are being lost, it also contributes to climate change because of the CO2 being release to the atmosphere each time we produce 1 kg of food.

What European Union does about sustainable agriculture and to limit food waste?

Green Deal

The European Green Deal sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. It maps a new, sustainable and inclusive growth strategy to boost the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life, care for nature, and leave no one behind.

From Farm to Fork Strategy

The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the Green Deal, aiming to make food systems fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly. It addresses comprehensively the challenges of sustainable food systems and recognizes the inextricable links between healthy people, healthy societies, and a healthy planet. The strategy is also central to the Commission’s agenda to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All citizens and operators across value chains, in the EU and elsewhere, should benefit from a just transition, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn.

A shift to a sustainable food system can bring environmental, health, and social benefits, offer economic gains and ensure that the recovery from the crisis puts us onto a sustainable path.

Ensuring a sustainable livelihood for primary producers, who still lag in terms of income, is essential for the success of the recovery and the transition.

EU legislation, based on the European Green Deal, has set as a general goal a new development strategy for the EU, with the aim of transforming it into a climate-neutral, equitable and prosperous.

What European Union does about sustainable agriculture and to limit food waste?

Society, which will have a modern, efficient use of resources and a competitive economy. In particular, through the Farm-to-Fork strategy, the Union seeks to ensure adequate, economical and nutritious food, to ensure sustainable food production by substantially reducing the use of pesticides, antimicrobials and fertilizers, and to promote food consumption and healthy eating.

The proposing organisations, consistently following the priorities set regarding sustainability, are fully complied with the content and the spirit of EU legislation. The rationalization of production through the management of inputs-outputs, leads to addressing the negative consequences of over-irrigation (waste of water and energy), increased greenhouse gas emissions, improper use of fertilization and increased production costs.

Direct consequence of these practices is the reduction of the environmental footprint with the simultaneous production of high nutritional value products, which comply with national and European standards.

European Food Quality

The agricultural products and food products in Europe differentiate from other similar products, thanks to their superior quality and food safety standards that being implemented through all the stages of the production process.

The European Union pay special attention to every detail to make sure that each product reach the consumers plate is as tasty, quality and nutrient as it should be.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.