"Global food security, fighting food waste and improving the sustainability of agricultural production are matters that require an urgent and international solution. Today's vote sends a strong signal that Parliament takes these issues seriously. We call on both the European Commission and EU member states to join us and use the Milan Expo as an opportunity to push for solutions to these pressing global challenges," said rapporteur Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT).
The resolution was passed by 460 votes to 126, with 20 abstentions.
Call for genuine food security for everyone
Even though the right to food is a basic human right, areas of food insecurity still exist in the EU, MEPs say. Estimates suggest that global population growth will require a 70 per cent increase in the food supply by 2050.
To meet the food security challenges, EU needs to:
- encourage more efficient agronomic practices and more sustainable agriculture resource management,
- increase transparency and fairness in the food supply chain, and
- promote rational use of scarce resources and invest more in research, to increase yields while reducing the environmental impact.
MEPs expressed concern over the phenomenon of land grabbing and its impact on food security in developing countries.
They also denounced the illegal fisheries emerging all over the world and stressed that these must be fought vigorously in order to deliver food security.
MEPs want 2016 to become the European Year against Food Waste
Estimates suggest that around 30 per cent of food worldwide is lost or wasted. Annual food waste in the EU alone amounts to about 89 million tonnes, and is set to rise to about 126 million tonnes by 2020 unless action is taken, MEPs warn.
Parliament therefore calls on the Commission to
- encourage member states to take actions against food wastage at every level of the food supply chain and set binding targets to this end, and
- focus on educational campaigns, designate 2016 as European Year against Food Waste and better promote healthy food and lifestyles.
Members of the Agriculture, Energy and International Trade committees will visit the Milan Expo on 18-19 June to promote efforts to enhance global food security, fight food waste and encourage healthy lifestyles. The Development and Food Safety committees will follow suit later.