Slow Food’s letter to the candidates of the 2014 European election: Looking Towards a Common Sustainable Food Policy

Dear Candidates,

The upcoming European elections come at a crucial time in terms of planning for our future. The current crisis is not simply financial, but far more complex. It begs for a paradigm shift, one that must start with restoring the centrality and value of food.

In order to respond to this crisis, Slow Food wants to see a Common Sustainable Food Policy in Europe. This policy must:

• take a holistic approach to the food system

• strive for a transition towards a system of production, distribution and consumption of food that is good (reflecting health, culture and the tastes of local communities), clean (respectful of the environ- ment) and fair (mindful of the rights of those who cultivate, raise and produce food products, as well as of those who purchase and consume)

• be based on the preservation of biodiversity (plant varieties, native livestock breeds, artisan foods) and on the role of small-scale producers and consumers

• put in practice these same principles in all negotiations and relations with other countries (e.g. TTIP) Slow Food asks you to promote a Common Sustainable Food Policy by making a concrete commitment to

the following themes:

RIGHT TO FOOD

• Secure fair access to sustainably produced and healthy food for all, in particular vulnerable groups.

SUPPORT FOR SMALL-SCALE PRODUCERS

• Simplify EU hygiene rules and apply exemptions, in order to safeguard and promote small-scale tra- ditional products that are marketed locally or sold directly. These products risk extinction due to standardized bureaucratic and hygiene regulations that do not differentiate between agroindustry and small-scale artisanal production.

CONSUMER INFORMATION

• Promote mandatory origin labelling for all unprocessed meat and other products like milk, unprocessed foods and meat used as an ingredient

• Allow the addition of the following information to what is legally required on labels: varieties and animal breeds, cultivation and processing techniques, characteristics of the environment and local area, animal wel- fare.

FOOD WASTE

• Promote policies that tackle food waste, by raising awareness of the value of food in all phases of the food supply chain (production, distribution, and consumption)

SEEDS

  • Guarantee the right (and the duty) of farmers to produce seeds, to certify the seeds themselves (guaran- teeing traceability and attesting to their health) and to sell them
  • Encourage the registration of native varieties in public catalogues, as a means to culturally and commer- cially safeguard seeds, and thus biodiversity as a whole
  • Guarantee the free exchange of seeds

    GMOS

    • Promote the ban on the cultivation of any GMO crops in Europe
    • Encourage the use of GMO-free food and animal feed
    • Reinforce the risk assessment of GMOs and ensure its transparency

    PESTICIDES

    • Limit pesticide use as much as possible
    • Encourage agricultural management systems (e.g. organic agriculture and agroecology) based on crop rota-

    tion, crop diversification, and the protection of beneficial insects that protect biodiversity

    ANIMAL WELFARE

    • Introduce a maximum travel time from farm to abattoir
    • Drastically reduce the use of antibiotics in breeding and rearing • Prohibit the sale of meat from cloned animals or their offspring

    If you are willing to commit to a Common Sustainable Food Policy based on these measures, please contact us at [email protected]

For further information: old.slowfood.com/sloweurope/

Slow Food Executive Committee

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