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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Europe’s Farm to Fork Strategy and Its Commitment to Biotechnology and Organic Farming: Conflicting or Complementary Goals?

Purnhagen, Kai P.; Clemens, Stephan; Eriksson, Dennis; Fresco, Louise O.; Tosun, Jale; Qaim, Matin; Visser, Richard G. F.; Weber, Andreas P. M.; Wesseler, Justus H. H.; Zilberman, David


The European Commission's Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy, under the European Green Deal, acknowledges that innovative techniques, including biotechnology, may play a role in increasing sustainability. At the same time, organic farming will be promoted, and at least 25% of the EU's agricultural land shall be under organic farming by 2030. How can both biotechnology and organic farming be developed and promoted simultaneously to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? We illustrate that achieving the SDGs benefits from the inclusion of recent innovations in biotechnology in organic farming. This requires a change in the law. Otherwise, the planned increase of organic production in the F2F strategy may result in less sustainable, not more sustainable, food systems.

Published in

Trends in Plant Science
2021, volume: 26, number: 6, pages: 600-606

Authors' information

Purnhagen, Kai P.
University of Bayreuth
Clemens, Stephan
University of Bayreuth
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Fresco, Louise O.
Wageningen University and Research
Tosun, Jale
Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg
Qaim, Matin
University of Gottingen
Visser, Richard G. F.
Wageningen University and Research
Weber, Andreas P. M.
University of Cologne
Wesseler, Justus H. H.
Wageningen University and Research
Zilberman, David
University of California Berkeley

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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