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Vision & Strategy

Safe Food Production & Sustainable Rural Development

WECF’s overall goal for Safe Food Production and Sustainable Rural Development in the EU and EECCA region is that by 2020 all children, women and men have access to safe, regional, diverse and affordable food, free of hazardous chemicals, nano-particles and GMOs, based on fair trade and produced in harmony with nature and landscape, protecting water, soil, air and biodiversity.

WECF raises awareness of the loss of agro-biodiversity. According to the World Watch Institute (29 October 2009), there is a heavy reliance on a very limited number of grains for food, feed, and industry and this jeopardizes the global food system. Today, only 150 crops are cultivated, a sharp drop from the 10,000 used over time, and three grains-maize, rice, and wheat-combined with potatoes provide more than 50 percent of humans' energy needs. With the Green Revolution that began in the 1950s, high-yielding grains quickly spread around the world, displacing local varieties; within 40 years they accounted for half of all land being planted with wheat and rice. This loss of agricultural biodiversity-an estimated 75 percent decline since 1900-can limit the ability to adapt to climate change, lower food security, and create monoculture crops that are more susceptible to pests and diseases.

WECF implements projects in which crosscutting issues such as sustainable energy, water and waste management are included.

Through these demonstration projects, WECF promotes examples of sustainable and organic farming that:

  • provide healthier food;
  • improve the overall economic situation in rural areas; and
  • protect natural resources and ecosystems.

WECF advocates for sustainable (regional, organic, fair) farming and consumption as a solution to the currently critical situation of rural development in Europe, with 50% of all species and 80% of habitats having ‘unfavourable’ conservation status, and only 7% of agricultural habitats described as ‘favourable’. WECF raises awareness and proposes policy recommendations about the need to transform unsustainable farming and consumption practices, including intensive agriculture, the livestock factory approach, the use of pesticides and GMOs. WECF argues that intensive farming practices are economically as well as environmentally unsustainable, and will work on sustainability and ‘public good’ criteria for use in advocacy work surrounding the CAP reform.