WUR on farm-to-fork: figures are an indication; big differences per country

WUR researcher Roel Jongeneel told the European Parliament that the results of his study into the consequences of the Green Deal and the farm-to-table food strategy are mainly indicative.

In a joint hearing of the AGRI Agriculture Committee and the ENVI Environment Committee, Jongeneel emphasized that his study mainly looks at consequences on the production side. His WUR study refers to incomes only as an indication.

In the hearing yesterday, Jongeneel gave an explanation of two WUR studies into the possible consequences of the farm-to-fork strategy on arable farming and livestock farming. Using sheets, he made it clear that the Green Deal and F2F are expected to have a negative impact. on both animal and vegetable production in the EU will have from 10 to 15 percent. The consequences will differ per crop, per farm system and especially per region.

Jongeneel emphasized on Tuesday afternoon that major differences can occur per country, depending on how the EU policy will be put into practice per country via the NSPs. 'We just did some case studies; in the future, a lot will depend on exactly which policy is implemented and how things are tackled locally. Very little is known about it at the moment.” 

The WUR studies were commissioned by CropLife Europe and Copa-Cogeca and mainly focus on the consequences for agriculture. One of those studies shows that the income effects can be both strongly positive and negative. A positive factor is the expectation of price increases as a result of the Green Deal.

A negative factor is the additional environmental requirements that lead to additional restrictions and higher costs. 'I always emphasize that there are major regional differences. You could get shifts in production within the EU. Some countries can then win (eg in Eastern Europe) and others lose (countries with environmental hotspots). Jongeneel called this 'a difficult story'. 

Moreover, it is not yet clear to what extent the government will help farmers with targeted payments. “Our struggles also have to do with that: there is still a lot that is just not known, how can you estimate its impact? What is being done now is mainly indicative,' said Jongeneel when asked for an explanation.