The challenges of producing more with less are not to be understated. The agriculture and forestry sectors need to be adapted to become more efficient by moving towards a bioeconomy and a circular economy.
The bioeconomy comprises parts of the economy that use renewable biological resources from land and sea – such as crops, forests, fish, animals and microorganisms – to produce food, materials and energy. The 2018 update of the Bioeconomy Strategy proposes a three-tiered action plan to scale up the bio-based sectors, to spread it rapidly across the whole of Europe, and to understand the ecological boundaries of the bioeconomy.
The updated Bioeconomy Strategy has put food and nutrition security as a key objective, recognising the need to develop a Strategic Deployment Agenda for sustainable food and farming systems, as well as forestry and bio-based production in a circular economy. It addresses food waste, losses, and by-products (including nutrient recycling), and the need for nutrition-sensitive food production.
A way of using resources more efficiently is by moving towards a circular economy rather than a traditional linear economy, thus keeping resources in use for as long as possible and recovering them whenever possible. This year, the EC adopted a new set of measures following the Circular Economy Package, focusing on monitoring progress, plastics and critical raw materials.
ELO has been vocal in both initiatives and has addressed the issue in events such as the Forum for the Future of Agriculture and through intergroup meetings in the EP.
In 2019, ELO will continue to follow the actions linked to both strategies, and continue to be mindful that any advancement in scientific knowledge with the view to innovation is fundamental towards the further implementation of both strategies.