22 Dec 2022, 13:11
Carolina Kyllmann Edgar Meza

New German nutritional strategy highlights environmental impact of food

Clean Energy Wire / Welt

Reducing the environmental impact of food is one of the key priorities of the German government's upcoming nutritional strategy, presented by the agriculture ministry in a key points paper. The strategy aims to make food production more sustainable and less wasteful, as well as promote a healthier, resource-conserving and plant-based diet, while taking into account rising food costs, according to the paper. “There is an urgent need for better framework conditions that make healthier and sustainable nutrition easy,” the paper reads. According to agriculture minister Cem Özdemir, the aim of the strategy is “not to tell people what to eat,” but to ensure everyone in Germany can “eat well and healthily - regardless of income, education or background.” The paper singled out the following priorities:

  • creating a health-promoting and sustainable nutrition environment, which would enable consumers to eat a “healthy, more plant-based and sustainable diet,” and increase the share of organically, regionally and seasonally produced food;
  • promoting resource and climate-friendly approaches, which would involve expanding organic farming in Germany to 30 percent by 2030;
  • promoting regional markets and halving food waste along the entire supply chain;
  • promoting healthy and sustainable eating patterns, with a special focus placed on vulnerable consumer groups.

Some business associations have reacted negatively to the ministry’s plans, however, particularly when it comes to promoting plant-based foods at the expense of meat products, Welt reports. Germany's Farmers' Association argued that "government campaigns against animal-based foods are inappropriate." The government hopes identify short, medium and long-term measures alongside civil society, scientists, the food industry, and environmental and consumer protection groups throughout 2023 and adopt the strategy by the end of the year.

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