The European Commission (EC) will propose the farm-to-fork strategy as formal legislation following the European Parliament’s vote to adopt it, Olive Oil Times reported on 8 November.

Last month, the European Parliament voted to adopt the strategy, paving the way for a healthier and more sustainable food system in the European Union (EU), the report said.

Once the EC has proposed the strategy as formal legislation, the European Parliament and Council of the European Union will vote to ratify it, according to the report.

“Our farmers are already doing a great job, so when we rightly ask them to further reduce their use of pesticides, fertilisers and antibiotics, we need to support them so production does not just move outside the EU,” Herbert Dorfmann, the rapporteur for the committee on agriculture and rural development, was quoted as saying.

“Ensuring the availability of food at reasonable prices must continue to be a priority,” he added.

The EU’s approval of the farm-to-fork strategy followed intense lobbying from both sides of the debate, Olive Oil Times wrote, with environmental groups strongly supporting the strategy, and EU farmers’ association COPA-COGECA attempting to persuade MEPs to vote against it.

During the deliberation and after the strategy’s passage, the lawmakers emphasised the need to have a sustainable food supply system involving everyone from the farmer to the consumer, the report said.

To safeguard farmers’ ability to earn a fair share of the money made from their produce, MEPs proposed that the EC worked to strengthen their role within the supply chain, according to the report.

The strategy includes animal welfare, emissions reduction and front-of-pack nutrition labelling (FOPL) policies.

MEPs further suggested using a simplified FOPL to assist consumers in choosing healthier foods while the EU additionally wanted those labels made mandatory with any exemptions requiring science-based evidence.

However, MEPs previously voted to exempt single-ingredient foods in April from the FOPL, Olive Oil Times wrote.

However, Thomas Haahr, a press officer for the European Parliament, told Olive Oil Times that the full extent of the pan-European FOPL remained unclear and would need to be debated at the legislative stage of the process in the European Parliament.