The European Green Deal Improves the Sustainability of Food Systems but Has Uneven Economic Impacts on Consumers and Farmers

October 7, 2023  Communications Earth & Environment 

Introduction: EU established the policy program called The European Green Deal in 2019, aiming to create a fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly food system. To assess the impacts of this initiative, a partial equilibrium economic model was developed by France's National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE). The model focuses on three main strategies: reducing chemical inputs in agriculture, minimizing post-harvest losses, and promoting healthier diets with fewer animal-based products. 

Key findings: The study emphasizes that achieving significant improvements in climate, biodiversity, and nutrition necessitates the simultaneous implementation of all three measures. This integrated approach could result in a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from food consumption and a 40–50% decrease in biodiversity damage. Consumers benefit economically through lower food expenses, but livestock producers experience declines in quantity and price. Positive impacts on revenues for food/feed field crop producers depend on the balance between increased food consumption and reduced feed consumption.


 Fig. | Structure of the partial equilibrium economic model.