Field work in the northern Harz region: rethinking required
Martin Wagner / IMAGO
According to a new report by the environmental protection organization WWF, agriculture in the EU only makes a limited contribution to the global food supply.
“We are currently the expensive supermarket, not the granary of the world,” criticizes WWF nutrition expert Tanja Dräger.
The background is, among other things, that the EU mainly exports high-quality food such as chocolate or meat, but imports cheap products such as cocoa or animal feed.
"In many countries around the world, people need grain, not corned beef and chardonnay," says Dräger.
The report, published on Monday under the title "Europe eats the world", emphasizes that EU countries are importing more calories and protein - including in the form of animal feed - than they are selling to other regions.
In this way, they take eleven percent of the calories and 26 percent of the proteins away from other markets.
The environmentalists call for a clear rethinking of EU agriculture.
Only a more sustainable food system is able to guarantee food security at home and abroad in the future.
At the moment, for example, at least half of the grain production in the EU ends up as feed in the trough.
»The EU must produce and consume differently.
For example, livestock numbers must decrease, and the proportion of land used for cultivating cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit for human consumption must increase,” Dräger demanded.
The report also criticizes food waste on farms.
Globally, it is estimated that 1.2 billion tons of food intended for humans was lost during or shortly after harvest.
This is around 15 percent of all food production.
The reasons included regional overproduction, extreme weather and retail requirements.