On 10th September, MEPs of the Environment, Public Health & Food Safety and Agriculture Committees adopted the Joint INI report1 on the Farm to Fork Strategy, voting with a large majority on the full set of compromise amendments on which Rapporteurs and Shadow Rapporteurs had agreed upon back in June.

With this vote, MEPs from both Committees officially welcomed the strategy presented by the Commission in May 2020, aiming to offer “fair, animal friendly, healthy, high quality and affordable diets to European consumers.”

Safer Phosphates welcomes the unanimous agreement by AGRI/ENVI Committees that achieving the Farm-to-Fork targets is inextricably linked with the objective of reducing heavy metals in inorganic fertilizers. More specifically, the MEPs stressed “that the reduction of inefficient and phasing-out of excessive fertilisation should take into account the climate and environmental impacts of different fertilisers, including the presence of heavy metals”.

In recent months, during meetings and exchanges with the MEPs most involved in the report, Safer Phosphates strongly advocated the idea that all the actors of the food chain must play their part in achieving food chain sustainability. European food is already a global standard for food that is safe, plentiful, nutritious and of high quality. For this reason, great attention should also be given to the quality of the fertilizers used, by limiting the use of phosphate fertilizers with a higher level of heavy metals, particularly cadmium. A reduction of fertilizers should not hamper the potential of the fertilizer meeting safety and cleanliness criteria.

The fact that a reference to this position has been included in the final version of the report is a signal that the issue of heavy metals in fertilizers and their different environmental impact is perceived as urgent to be addressed in the European Parliament.

Among other things, the text calls on EU countries to align with “the Green Deal’s zero pollution ambition,” in part via their strategic plans to implement the next farm policy (CAP).

The report on the Farm to Fork Strategy is now expected to be debated and voted during one of the plenary sessions in October/November.

1. ENVI and AGRI Committees had the role to draw up together a report on the F2F Strategy, as the Strategy lies at the nexus of agriculture, food safety, environment and climate change.