With consumers and farmers demanding more transparency in the supply chain, the European food system is in the midst of a significant transition.
The European Commission has developed a 10-year plan that aims to make the EU food system more healthy, fair, and environmentally friendly. There is a new focus on the so-called farm to fork model in the plan.
What is it, and how does it intend to impact the European agricultural sector?
What Is Farm to Fork Model?
This model is a new concept designed to create a seamless and sustainable system that connects farmers with their markets. It will enable authorities to keep track of food production from the source to the final consumer.
What Are the Key Objectives of the Farm to Fork Approach?
1. Reducing Food Waste
Food, if not sold, would lead to wasted resources and labor. Using this approach, the EU can easily trace the food that enters the supply chain to make better decisions on using the food.
2. More Transparency
With this model, regulators will have more information about producers and suppliers to ensure proper and safe food products reach their final destination. There will also be an increased understanding of many of the issues farmers and food processors face.
3. Healthier, Fairer, and Environmentally Conscious European Food System
This approach aims for a healthier, fairer, and environmentally-conscious food system. With details about who produces food and how much they produce, consumers can easily decide what they should be buying from the market. In addition, it will also minimize over and underproduction of certain products for prices to remain stable.
4. Reducing Food Related Frauds in the Supply Chain
As already mentioned, using this model, the EU will be able to keep track of food in the supply chain, which will help them combat food fraud.
Who Are the Major Beneficiaries of the Farm to Fork Model?
The farm to table concept is expected to have major beneficiaries, including the following:
- Local farmers and fishers will have better access to markets and have easier access to information on what they should be growing to maximize their yields.
- Consumers will easily decide what they should be buying. They will also benefit from buying healthy food.
- The farm to table concept will reduce the use of pesticides which will protect farmers from the adverse effects of the chemicals on their health.
- Retailers and other dealers in the retail chain will be able to enjoy the availability of goods as fraud will be minimized.
Five steps involved in the farm-to-table approach
1. Production: This step involves all steps undertaken before the food leaves the field, including seed and input production, to yield fruits, vegetables, livestock products, and other food items.
2. Processing: The processing step involves all back-end operations that take place in between production and distribution. Here, food is prepared for retail sale.
3. Distribution: This step involves all processes until a food product reaches the market.
4. Sales through retail trade: This is getting the product from its producer to the final consumer.
5. Use: The consumer makes the final use of the product.