The EU's farm-to-fork strategy: An assessment from the perspective of agricultural economics

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Abstract

The EU Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy includes a number of policy objectives that have implications for agricultural production in the EU and beyond. This contribution discusses the possible implications from an economic perspective. We draw on economic assessments by other authors and discuss their wider implications by considering only partially quantified benefits and costs. Overall, the assessments indicate a decline in EU agricultural production in quantitative terms. The F2F strategy negatively affects aggregate consumer surplus and—depending on the assumption made—a net increase or decrease in producer surplus, thereby inducing an overall net welfare loss. Partially quantified benefits and costs include the environmental benefits and costs linked to the F2F strategy, such as implications for greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, or the landscape. Therefore, by launching the strategy, policy makers have implicitly concluded that the additional net benefits outweigh the losses in consumer surplus. The economic studies combined with studies on the impact of agricultural practices on biodiversity and the emission of greenhouse gases do not support this claim without further technological and institutional changes, such as supporting the application of modern biotechnology by reducing regulatory hurdles. Also, whether most consumers will share this view remains to be seen. EU policy makers have it in their hands to implement the necessary institutional changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1826-1843
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • EU
  • agriculture policy
  • economic impact
  • farm to fork strategy

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