EuroHealthNet responds to the EU consultation on “Sustainable food systems – setting up an EU framework”
In the context of the ‘‘European Green Deal” and the development of the Farm to Fork Strategy, the European Commission announced an initiative for a horizontal framework law, to accelerate and facilitate the transition to sustainability and ensure that foods placed on the EU market become increasingly more sustainable. Such an EU level intervention aims to establish new foundations for future food policies by introducing sustainability objectives and principles based on an integrated food system approach. In preparation of this initiative, the Commission launched a broad consultation process, aimed to gather views and input from all stakeholders.
EuroHealthNet responded to this consultation to stress the importance of considering how the systemic factors influence citizens’ health. A food system that makes “the healthy choice the easy choice” is essential to reduce the impact unhealthy diets and over consumption of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) have on the people’s health, especially due to their connection with the development of Non-Communicable Diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. This is true for the whole population, but it is above all relevant for those least well-off, since there is a social gradient for which lower socio-economic groups are more affected by the consequences of unhealthy and unsustainable food systems. Therefore, a sustainable food system is necessary to achieve the social equity targets of the European Union.