Milk, cheese and red meat: You’ve probably seen promotional videos flashed on TV, with the support of the European Union. This goes against Farm2Fork’s European strategy, health policy and climate goals. The authority is currently studying the budget for promoting agricultural products. A dreamed-up opportunity to stimulate a sustainable and healthy diet.
The Farm2Fork strategy lists 27 actions the European Commission will take over the next four years to work towards a future-oriented food system. Among these is the revision of the European Program for the Promotion of Agricultural Products with the aim of bringing it more in line with sustainable production and consumption, and with our evolving food system.
Economic competitiveness as the only condition
This is necessary: the EU has a well-stocked pot to promote European agricultural products. Between 2016 and 2020, the promotional budget for agricultural products nearly doubled, from 113 million to 200 million in 2020.
A good budget to put healthy and sustainable European products in the spotlight. Or in theory anyway. Because at the moment, economic competitiveness is given priority in the selection of promotional campaigns, so it is not taken into account whether the product has been produced sustainably and whether it contributes to a healthy diet.
For example, 32% of the budget from 2016 to 2020 was allocated to campaigns promoting meat and dairy products. Only 19% went to fruit and vegetable campaigns. It is difficult to reconcile this one-sided economic approach with the stated ambitions at the European level for a more vegetarian diet.