WWF and LiveWell for LIFE call for a sustainable food system for Europe

Posted on
19 March 2015

Today WWF calls on the European Commission’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans to develop a clear plan for a healthy and climate friendly European food system by 2030, in collaboration with theLiveWell for LIFE project.

Having consulted with the public on what to include in its plans already in 2013, the EU has so far failed to publish its Communication on Building a Sustainable European Food System, thereby holding up progress on the creation of a strategy that addresses the environmental and public health impacts of food.

Supporting the WWF call to action are Members of the European Parliament’s major parties, a wide range of civil society organisations from public health, animal welfare and environment sectors, as well as several companies from all the major food sectors, including Alpro, Edeka, Marks & Spencer, Nestlé,Sodexo, and Unilever.

Some relatively small changes in diets would see results such as less greenhouse gases emitted, healthier populations eating less and better food and less food waste.

Tony Long, Director of European Policy Office said:

“A big majority of civil society, businesses and national governments across Europe want the European Commission to act on food sustainability. Vice-President Timmermans’ team should bring together all these partners to work towards a fairer, healthier and more competitive food system that respects the limits of the planet. In 2015 Europe will take important commitments for global sustainable development and climate action. None of them will be achieved without acting on food.”

WWF and LiveWell for LIFE want to see change because:
  • Europe is the biggest importer and exporter of food;
  • 30% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions are food related;
  • Eating animal products accounts for 46 % of Europe’s water consumption;
  • Half the European population is obese or overweight;
  • A third of food produced for humans is lost or wasted.

Duncan Williamson, Food Policy Manager of WWF-UK said:

“The EU promised to publish it’s ‘Building a Sustainable European Food System’ last year, and has so far failed to do so. Without it, the development of a clear policy on sustainable food is held back, and cooperation between European stakeholders from different sectors is also stalling. WWF and LiveWell for LIFE call for the EU to publish this Communication as soon as possible so that progress can be made.”

Further information:

Stefania Campogianni Senior Media and Communications Office, WWF European Policy Office, scampogianni@wwf.eu +32 499539736

Rebecca Pain, Business Media Communications Manager, WWF-UK on (0) +44 1483 412303 or via rpain@wwf.org.uk

Twitter: @WWFEU , @LiveWellFood

Notes to the editor: 

The Call to action and its signatories.

LiveWell for Low Impact Food in Europe (LiveWell for LIFE) was launched in 2011 with the aim of contributing towards a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the European Union food supply chain to below 1990 levels by 2020 – in line with international agreements. The project has been funded through the EU’s LIFE Programme for the Environment and  its partners are WWF (WWF-UK, WWF European Policy Office ) and Friends of Europe.

An executive summary with our key recommendations is also available, plus an infographic with key statistics and a shopping guide. A short film explaining the project can also be found online. 

The LiveWell diet
The LiveWell diet is a healthy, low-carbon diet that takes account of cultural preferences. We believe the LiveWell diet is a good first step towards a more sustainable diet. Its focus is on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, but it incorporates health, socio-cultural, economic and qualitative elements as well.

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