More sustainable and healthier food systems in Europe (scientific article)

Recanati F, Maughan C, Pedrotti M, Dembska K, Antonelli M (2019) Assessing the role of CAP for more sustainable and healthier food systems in Europe: A literature review. Science of The Total Environment, 653, 908-919

Today, the European food system is characterized by unhealthy dietary trends, environmentally unsustain- able production, and a dependency on an ageing farming population. The ongoing reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) represents an opportunity to redress these issues. This literature review highlights trends in how academic and grey literature have received CAP attempts in addressing the (i) environmental issues, (ii) nutritional outcomes, and (iii) rural livelihoods. Additionally, future policy and research direc- tions relating to the CAP have been identified from the selected literature. The reviewed literature varies in approach and perspective. In particular, since the environment and rural development are already part of the CAP, the reviewed studies analyze and propose improvements to existing mechanisms. While for nu- trition, the reviewed studies assessed possible policy strategies for integrating this sphere within the CAP, highlighting both the complexity of this task as well as its potential benefits. Despite these differences, a clear commonality emerged from the policy recommendations: the CAP should promote the European Union (EU) policy integration and multi-disciplinary and participatory research as key strategies to meet food system sustainability targets.


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