Farm to Fork leak, circular economy plan and COVID-19

Your weekly update on all things Agriculture & Food in the EU.

Welcome to EURACTIV’s AgriFood Brief, your weekly update on all things Agriculture & Food in the EU. You can subscribe here if you haven’t done so yet.

The latest draft of the Farm to Fork strategy, obtained by EURACTIV, features a few notable changes from the previous version, including an emphasis on the possible role of animal farming in the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and on options for animal welfare labelling.  Read more here.

Agrifood news this week

No needless overlap between F2F and circular economy plans, Sinkevicius says
EU environment chief Virginijus Sinkevičius insists there will be no unnecessary overlap between the new circular economy plan and the Farm to Fork strategy (F2F), as new EU food policy will be focused more on the agricultural and food production side. Read more here.

No evidence of COVID-19 transmission through food, says EFSA
The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has concluded that there is currently “no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission” of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Read more here.

MEPs urge exceptional measures to compensate US tariffs on EU foodstuffs
More than 50 EU Parliament lawmakers have co-signed a letter calling on the European Commission to take exceptional measures in support of agri-food sectors targeted by punitive US import tariffs. Gerardo Fortuna has the story.

Meat sector “must adapt to climate change or face ruin”, new analysis finds
A new climate ’scenario analysis’ on the meat sector has found that the industry stands to lose billions in the event of the IPCC’s scenario of a 2°C warmer world. Natasha Foote reports.

Are Europeans ready for an insect-based diet?
While insect-based foods have so far been a niche product, they are viewed as a highly promising solution to the challenges facing the food industry. Although new EU regulations should pave the way for these products, European eating habits will have to change too. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Quote of the Week

“European agri-cooperatives need a favourable regulatory environment to further develop innovative business models that can deliver on the objectives of the European Green Deal.”

Pekka Pesonen, secretary-general of farmers association Copa-Cogeca, in a statement on the European Commission’s SMEs strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe

Agrifood news from around Europe


The Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday announced that nine plant protection products based on the active substances chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl are being withdrawn from the Croatian market. Read more here. (Karla Juničić |

Spanish farmers continue this week their demonstrations across the Iberian country to defend fair prices for their products and measures to alleviate the situation of Spain’s agriculture, especially in view of Brexit and US tariffs imposed on local products, such as olive oil or red wine, EURACTIV’s partner EFE Agro reported.

The latest research carried out by Wody Polskie (‘Polish Waters’), presented the latest data on the risk of drought in Poland, highlighting that there is currently very low soil moisture and warning of the possibility of intense drought. The report said that “the latest soil moisture index data for January 2020 indicates low soil moisture; below 40%, and even 35%. The data indicates a very intense atmospheric and agricultural drought in almost half of the country’s territory. This situation prevents the rebuilding of moisture in the soil.” (Mateusz Kucharczyk|

A mass rally for UK agriculture has been postponed amid concerns of the coronavirus outbreak, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has confirmed. The rally, organised by the NFU, was due to take place on Wednesday, 25 March. It would have brought farmers from all across the country to central London. (Natasha Foote |

The coronavirus emergency in Italy is affecting locally sourced food markets, as they’re facing a substantial decrease in customers, who are leaving their homes only in cases of emergency. The owner of an agricultural holding in Veneto told local newspaper Il Mattino di Padova that so far 20 tonnes of ‘radicchio’, a well-known Italian variety of chicory, went wasted due to the drop in demand of local food products. (Gerardo Fortuna |

The spread of COVID-19 has heightened concerns in the German agricultural sector. Dairy and fruit and vegetable exporters have been the first to notice changes, but demand for products has remained high. However, many in the sector are apprehensive about how the coronavirus will change trade flows, and more concrete impacts are expected to be visible by April or May. (Sarah Lawton |


Upcoming events 

  • Due to the precautions taken against novel coronavirus, events in the European Parliament have been cancelled this week.
  • 18 March – The Food Waste Fest 2.020 is an opportunity to discover solutions to food wastage. The afternoon event includes a forum, workshops, a fair and talks with industry and policy specialists, such as Carolyn Steel, Tristram Stuart and Naomi Smith. See here for more information.

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