New EU food policy a ‘major missed opportunity’ says ProVeg International

Farm to Fork strategy U-turn omits meat and dairy reduction policies


The EU’s Farm to Fork strategy, which outlines a policy roadmap towards a more sustainable food system, published today has largely ignored the environmental impact of animal products and completely failed to set meat and dairy reduction targets.

The strategy is a key element of the European Green Deal that aims to make Europe carbon neutral by 2050. The European Commission had previously acknowledged the impact of animal farming on the environment and public health, and it had been expected that today’s strategy would include further recognition and at least some proposals to address it.

Jasmijn de Boo, International Director, ProVeg International, said: “The elephant in the room – the environmental impact of animal farming- has once again been ignored. Today’s strategy announcement is a devastating blow to those of us who genuinely wish to see a sustainable food system. 

“Without addressing our overproduction and overconsumption of animal products, we cannot even begin to hope to transform our food system. Meat and dairy reduction targets are essential if the Commission is to succeed in its food policy – without them, the plan to make Europe carbon neutral by 2050 will likely fail. This is a major missed opportunity, and we urge the Commission to reconsider its plans.”

A leaked version of the strategy, circulated yesterday, showed that the Commission was ready to end EU-funded meat advertising. This version stated that the Commission would ‘propose to stop stimulating production or consumption of meat’, but in a last-minute U-turn this wording was removed from the final published version.

Animal farming is a leading cause of climate change, and is responsible for about 14.5% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the FAO. Both the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report and the Eat Lancet Commission’s Planetary Health Diet report recommend plant-based diets as a major opportunity for mitigating and adapting to the climate crisis. 

In addition to meat and dairy reduction targets, the European Commission could have included in today’s strategy policy proposals such as a shift in agricultural subsidies away from industrial animal agriculture and towards the production of plant crops, and a sustainability charge on meat – both of which have been proposed by ProVeg International in recent times.




Notes to editors:

About ProVeg International

ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal products with plant-based and cultivated alternatives.

ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and our planet.

ProVeg’s EU policy examples: In 2019, ProVeg International campaigned for the Veggie Burger Ban to be overturned and persuaded the Dutch government to continue to allow meat-based product names for plant-based analogues, recently advised on the TAPPC report on a ‘sustainability charge’ to be imposed on meat, and in 2018 ProVeg won a United Nations Climate Action Award for its projects relating to sustainable school meals.

For more information please contact:

Jimmy Pierson, Global PR Manager, Proveg International
[email protected]

+44 7931 819 508

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