EU Common Food Policy

Towards a Common Food Policy for the European Union: a three-year process of research, reflection, and citizen engagement

Over 2016-2019, IPES-Food is undertaking a collaborative process of research and reflection to identify what tools would be required to deliver sustainable food systems in Europe. The 'Common Food Policy' vision that emerges  (understood to mean a ‘Food Systems Policy’ or a ‘Sustainable Food and Farming Policy’) will offer a Plan B for the EU as it considers reforming the Common Agricultural Policy and other policy frameworks.

Through a series of multi-stakeholder ‘policy labs’ in Brussels and around Europe, the process will convene scientists, civil society groups, grassroots organisations and policy-makers from various governance levels. The process intends to bridge the different policy areas (agriculture, trade, environment, health, etc.) and different policy levels (EU, national, local) through which food systems are governed, identifying priorities for reform and bringing them together under a single roof. The sustainable food scoreboard that emerges will align various policies and incentives with the goal of delivering sustainable food systems, while building around the grassroots initiatives already reshaping food systems at the local level.

The EU Commission was formally invite to participate in this process through an open letter addressed to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker drafted by 10 leading experts on food systems. The letter called for a fundamental reexamination of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and parallel efforts to develop a joined-up food policy vision.

A concept note detailing this process can be downladed here.

On 29-30 May 2018, IPES-Food will convene a major deliberative event, the EU Food and Farming Forum (EU3F) as the culmination of the Commno Food Policy process. The goal of the EU3F is to co-construct a set of policy proposals addressed to the EU for a comprehensive ‘Common Food Policy’. Taking place symbolically one year before the 2019 EU elections, the Forum will yield concrete proposals to be taken up by political parties, campaign groups and ultimately by the EU institutions. A description of the event can be found here


Related activities

IPES-Food co-chair, Olivier De Schutter, and founder of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, published an op-ed on the need for Common Food Policy on March 2, 2017.

Olivier De Schutter made the case for a Common Food Policy in an article published in the European Green Journal on September 26, 2017.


Updates on this process will be communicated via the IPES-Food newsletter and the IPES-Food website: . Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions, ideas or proposals for partnerships that you may have – we look forward to hearing from you.