The potential role of producer and consumer food policies in the EU to sustainable food and nutrition security
The aim of the research presented in SUSFANS Deliverable D10.3 is threefold:
(1) We identify a set of interesting and relevant policies in the areas of EU health and nutrition,
agricultural, fisheries, and storage, i.e. market stabilisation, policies.
(2) The SUSFANS modelling toolbox is applied. This gives the possibility to test and
debug the most recent model developments following from previous SUSFANS work and identify further necessary improvements towards the end of the project.
(3) We test the selected policy measures and assess their impacts on the EU agrofood system applying the SUSFANS metrics framework.
Our results show how the assessed policies may impact EU producers and consumers and how these can contribute to improving sustainability in the food system. Different established macro models are applied for the foresight analysis of the various policies.
The policies tested are distinct from each other and are not run with all models available in the toolbox. In this sense, the presented research serves as a pre-test
for the final foresight work in SUSFANS which will involve combined approaches of policies and models. Nevertheless, our results give already an insight on the directions of impacts as well as on the applicability and quantifiability of the metrics framework.
The assessment of health and nutrition policies is based on an overview about the variety of discussed and implemented policies in this area. A hierarchy of
policy instruments is composed taking into account effectiveness of policy measures and in how far individuals’ choices may be constrained by these. A
combination of market-based (like food taxes and subsidies) and information-based instruments (e.g. campaigns) is designed as a promising scenario for
modelling and actual implementation.
The analysed agricultural policy is a restriction of livestock density in order to avoid over-fertilization and soil nutrient surpluses arising from excessive
availability of manure. An EU wide restriction would improve the quantified environmental sustainability indicators, however reducing EU competitiveness on
agricultural markets due to export decreases. In contrast to that, the tested fisheries policies (capture at maximum sustainable/economic yield, aquaculture production growth) have a positive influence on EU seafood production and competitiveness. Fishing at maximum sustainable yield (MSY), and even more at maximum economic yield (MEY), is known to reduce environmental impacts compared to other scenarios. However, further work is needed to assess these improvements also for fisheries in the models.
Measures under both the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) and common fisheries policy (CFP) reveal hardly any effect on EU food consumption and
nutrition. Domestic production changes tend to influence trade balances rather than domestic consumption. For the CAP scenario this means that a restriction of
animal density in the EU would likely shift negative environmental impacts from the EU to other countries. Resulting from the storage policies assessment, increased storage facilities for crops vulnerable to climate change and weather extremes help to reduce price volatility caused by yield shocks. They furthermore increase openness and
The modelling outcomes highlight the interrelations of EU policies to world markets and vice versa. Therefore, trade effects need to be taken into account
when designing EU policies for reaching EU food and nutrition security in a truly sustainable way. Absent effects on the consumer side in some of the tested
producer policies furthermore stress the need for a combined and harmonized attempt of producer and consumer policies.