Food. Federal Council traces the path from agriculture and food to 2050.

Agriculture must be sustainable and able to make a greater contribution to food security. In a report to Parliament, the Federal Council outlines the future path of agriculture. (archive image)

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From the farm to the intermediate trade and from processing to the plate: in a report, the Federal Council outlines the future path of agriculture and the food industry. It should be sustainable and be able to contribute more to food security than it currently does.

The Federal Council approved the report presented to the media on Thursday in Bern at its meeting on Wednesday. Parliament had requested the eighty-page document. It not only deals with the work of farmers, but with the entire value chain up to the plate.

More than a year ago, both councils put the Agricultural Policy 2022+ (AP22+) on hold and demanded an interpretation that should also include issues such as food safety and food waste. The Federal Council now recommends that the councils deal with this bill and recommends that the councils delete it.

increase productivity

“Food security through sustainability from production to consumption”: this is how the Federal Council sees agriculture in 2050, the Department for Economics, Education and Research (EAER) wrote. Furthermore, Swiss farmers are said to produce more than half of the food demanded.

The goal is to increase labor productivity by fifty percent compared to 2020, thanks in particular to technical progress. Greenhouse gas emissions must be at least 40 percent below 1990 levels. Processors and consumers also have to contribute to sustainability.

Because compared to today, food losses throughout the value chain will be reduced by three quarters. Greenhouse gas emissions associated with food will be reduced by two-thirds.

Conserve soil and water

The Federal Council names four main directions in its strategy for the future. First, agriculture and the food industry must use land and water sparingly, counteract the effects of climate change with foresight, and keep supply chains stable.

Second, food production must be climate-, environment-, and animal-friendly: farmers must increase renewable energy production, ensure fewer nutrients are lost to the environment, and reduce the risks of pesticide use. .

Third, sustainable value creation must be strengthened. Agriculture and the food industry should become more competitive and “proactively use” new nutritional trends, such as falling demand for meat, the statement said. For the Federal Council, strengthening value creation also means simpler agricultural policy instruments and less administrative effort.

Consumers have an obligation

The fourth pillar of the strategy obliges consumers: They must be informed about production methods and know how they affect the climate or animal welfare. They should also pay attention to a healthy diet and not throw away food that is still edible.

The Federal Council intends to implement its strategy in three stages. The first is the decisions of the Parliament and the Federal Council in relation to the proposal to reduce the risks of pesticides. This contains ambitious goals, wrote the FMB.

As a second stage, the Agricultural Policy 2022+ will be implemented “in principle”, but simplified. Among other things, the Federal Council recommends that councils not adjust the green performance test for direct payments. He wants to unlink the adjustments in the rural land law of the AP22+.

The third stage, after an evaluation in the period 2025/2026, is a new reform from 2030. The focus must be on the entire food system. The Federal Council also sees responsibility for the affected sectors, and international trade relations must also contribute to sustainable development.

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