Sustainable food production and processing

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Transcript Sustainable food production and processing

Phase 4
Sustainable food production
and processing
© CommNet 2013
To be able to define factors contributing to
sustainable food production and processing.
To recognise how agriculture, farming and
fishing impacts on the environment.
To be aware of some the different initiatives
being taken in farming and fishing in the EU
to help protect and enhance the
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Farming, agricultural and fishery products form a major
part of the cultural identity of Europe’s people and
Europe has a great diversity in terms of natural
environments, climates, fishing and farming practices.
A wide range of agricultural products, food and drink
products for human consumption and animal feed are
produced throughout the EU.
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What is the Common Agricultural Policy?
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) dates back to 1962,
when Member States made a commitment to restructuring
and increasing food production, which had been damaged
as a result of the Second World War.
It sets out a range of farming, environmental and rural
development activities as well as controlling EU
agricultural markets.
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The CAP is regularly reviewed to meet
new priorities.
The proposals for the CAP
currently have 3 priorities:
• viable food production;
• sustainable management of
natural resources;
• balanced development of rural
areas throughout the EU.
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The CAP is due to be reformed.
Following a debate in the European Parliament and the
Council, the approval of the different regulations and
implementing acts is expected by the end of 2013.
The CAP reform is planned to be in place as from 1st
January 2014.
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Food security
Food security is one of the major
challenges worldwide in the
years ahead, with global food
demand forecast to rise by 70%
by 2050 (FAO 2009).
Food production will have to be
maintained and capacity
increased to help meet demand.
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The main challenge in the future is not
only to produce more, but also to do
this in a sustainable way.
What does sustainable mean?
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Climate and geography have a big influence on the
agricultural use of the land. As a result, the choice of
animal and plant production varies from region to
region across Europe.
Some regions have terrain and land cover that allow
almost all the land surface to be used for agriculture. In
others, a harsh climate, dense forest cover or altitude may
mean that very little land area can be used in this way.
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Half of the surface area of the EU is used
for agricultural purposes, therefore
agriculture is very important to the EU’s
natural environment.
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Sustainable agriculture
What is it?
Sustainable agriculture has been defined as an integrated
system of plant and animal production that will last over
the long time, to satisfy human food needs and enhance
natural resources. It uses non-renewable resources
efficiently; sustains the economic viability of farms and
enhances the quality of life for farmers and society as a
It is the practice of farming using principles
which respect ecology and save natural
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There is a wide variety of farming
in the EU, including intensive,
conventional and organic farming.
The CAP is designed to support farming that provides
food security (in a context of climate change) and
promote balanced development across all Europe's rural
areas, including those where production conditions are
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Sustainable farming
There are many ways to improve the sustainability of a
farming system. These vary from country to country,
region to region. Farmers trying to take a more
sustainable approach share some common practices.
These include:
• pest management – using biological, physical ways and
chemicals to reduce health and environmental risks;
• rotational grazing – animals are moved regularly to new
pasture to allow fields to regenerate;
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Sustainable farming
• soil conservation – help prevent loss of soil due to
wind and water erosion;
• water conservation – water conservation helps
improve water quality and protects wetlands;
• cover crops – growing plants like clover after
harvesting a crop provides helps weed and erosion
control, improve soil nutrients and soil quality;
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Sustainable farming
• nutrient management management of nutrients (e.g.
nitrogen) improves the soil and
protects the environment. Using
more nutrients like manure from
the farm reduces the need to buy
• marketing - farmers often find
that better marketing is a good
way to make more profit e.g.
farmers markets;
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Sustainable farming
• crop/landscape diversity - growing a variety of
crops reduces risks from extremes in weather or
crop pests; it also helps with soil conservation,
wildlife habitat and increased populations of good
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Aquaculture is the farming of fish, shellfish and aquatic
plants like algae. It is one of the world's fastest growing
food sectors, and already provides the planet with
about half of all the fish we eat.
In Europe, aquaculture
accounts for almost 20%
of fish production.
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The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the fisheries policy
of the EU.
It sets out the following:
• rules to ensure Europe's fisheries are sustainable and
do not damage the marine environment;
• ways to enforce these rules and punish offenders;
• support for the development of EU aquaculture (fish,
seafood and algae farms);
• help for producers, processors and distributors get
a fair price for their produce.
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Sustainable fishing
There are three types of fishing rules:
• fishing effort limitations - restrict the size of the fleet
and the amount of time it can spend fishing;
• total allowable catch limits - restrict the quantity of
fish that can be taken from the sea;
• technical measures - regulate how and where fishers
can fish. They can, for example, be used to protect
young fish (juveniles), encourage the use of more
selective fishing gear or prevent serious damage to
the marine environment.
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Technical measures is a term for the range
of rules governing how and where fishers
may fish.
Technical measures include:
• minimum landing sizes for fish;
• minimum mesh sizes for nets;
• closed fishing areas and seasons;
• limits on by-catches (catches of unwanted
or non-target species);
• requirement to use more selective fishing
gear (to reduce unwanted by-catch);
• measures to prevent damage to the marine
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Bycatch and discards
Discarding is the practice of returning unwanted
catches to the sea dead or alive. In the EU, the rejected
and often dead fish and shellfish that are thrown back
do not have to be counted against quotas.
Many people think this is wrong and should
be reduced or stopped.
In February 2013 the European Parliament
voted to ban discards and to have greater
control over the fishing of endangered stocks.
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Aquaculture methods
European aquaculture uses a variety of methods.
• Extensive fish farming is carried out all over Europe.
Natural or artificial ponds are cleaned and fertilised to
provide a good breeding environment for fish.
• Shellfish farming uses the natural environment to
provide nutrients for the shellfish born in the wild.
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Aquaculture methods
• Restocking hatcheries are used in
the sea and fresh water. The
hatcheries provide fertilised fish
eggs. They control living conditions
to grow the young fish. They are
then released into the natural
• Intensive freshwater farming uses
special tanks in rivers. The fish
develop in the tanks until they are
ready for market.
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Aquaculture methods
• Intensive sea farming the most
traditional sea farming uses floating
cages. Fish are held in a large
pocket-shaped net anchored to the
bottom and kept on the surface by
a rectangular or circular floating
framework. Used for salmon
• Another type of sea farming uses
tanks on land filled with sea water.
Used mainly for flat fish species.
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Aquaculture in the future
There is already a huge amount of aquaculture taking
place in European coastal waters and it is expensive to
transport sea water to land based farms.
Therefore a new system called
offshore mariculture is being
developed. The fish cages are
submerged in deep sea water off
shore. It is technically difficult
because of the depth of the sea,
weather patterns and the current.
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Other factors affecting food sustainability
Climate change
There is now evidence about climate change.
Concerns for European agriculture and
farming are:
• decreasing average annual and seasonal
rainfall will be a serious problem in many
• more sudden heatwaves, droughts,
storms and floods across the EU.
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Food industry
The production of food from farm to fork triggers
environmental issues.
Think about the number of people that are involved in
food production. Here are some:
Waste managers
All of them have a role to play in
producing sustainable food and reducing
the impact on the environment.
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Environmental sustainability across the food chain
Areas of concern
Raw materials
Agriculture accounts for a big part of the environmental impact
along the food chain. It impacts on water, air quality, climate, soil
and bio-diversity.
Raw material and waste
Using materials as efficiently as possible and to reduce waste.
Reuse, recycling and recovery.
Energy and climate
Reducing the energy used in the food and drink industry will help
to reduce impact on climate change.
Water is used extensively in agriculture, manufacturing and
processing. The industry are exploring ways to reduce water use.
Reducing packaging without affecting quality, safety, and
consumer needs. Effective recycling.
Transport /distribution
Reducing transportation – fewer and friendlier miles.
Energy used for shopping by car, food storage and preparation.
Food waste.
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Foresight report – The Future of Food and Farming:
Challenges and choices for global sustainability
Over 400 experts and stakeholders from about 35
countries were involved in the development of the report.
The report identifies the
key drivers of change
affecting the food system,
including changes in
values and ethical stances
of consumers.
Government Office for Science (2011)
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The Foresight report
It also identifies five key challenges for the global food system:
• balancing future demand and supply sustainably – to ensure
that food supplies are affordable;
• ensuring there is adequate stability in food supplies – and
protecting the most vulnerable from the volatility that does
• achieving global access to food and ending hunger (food
security for all);
• managing the contribution of the food system to the mitigation
of climate change;
• maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services while feeding
the world.
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Phase 4
Sustainable food production
and processing
© CommNet 2013