EU Farm to Fork strategy: AnimalhealthEurope supports an EU food system transformation based on innovation

20/05/2020

AnimalhealthEurope supports the ambition of the European Commission to move towards a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system, with a transformation based on innovative and enabling technologies while respecting biodiversity and the environment. Use of innovative digital tools and preventive practices for animal health are contributory elements that can help accelerate this transition. Farmers and vets should be supported with access to all tools available to safeguard health, ensure animal welfare and respond rapidly to disease outbreaks. This is the true path to sustainable food production, where food safety and security for EU citizens remain the core focus.

The current COVID-19 crisis situation has shown that we cannot take our health, our food supply, nor our financial stability for granted. A just transition must support a robust and resilient food system that continues to function in all circumstances. As such a One Health policy, taking on board the human, animal and environmental factors, complements the Farm to Fork strategy which needs to guarantee food safety and supply for all, hand-in-hand with public health protection. Animal health matters in all different farming systems, so support should be accorded for innovation that helps prevent and fight animal diseases, thus ensuring a safe supply of high-quality and nutritious meat, milk, fish and eggs.

“We encourage EU policy makers to recognise the successes achieved so far by the livestock value chain to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and the need to use antibiotics in animals, whilst complying with high animal welfare standards, and to assure further support for such advances during this transition. With any transformation there comes a necessary investment. Prioritising funding at national and European level in innovative early animal health research through programmes such as Horizon Europe can support much-needed R&D to develop new generations of vaccines and other preventative tools and therapies. Alongside this, support for farmers to invest in digital monitoring tools will allow for real-time surveillance of the animal’s physical status improving the ability to protect against disease, while advancing the well-being of farm animals and supporting sustainable livestock production,” said Roxane Feller, AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General.

-  ENDS -

Note for editors:

  • For further detail please see our Discussion Paper published in preparation of the Farm to Fork proposal.