Analysis: What EU’s Farm-to-Fork Strategy Will Mean for South Africa Agriculture
The European Union’s (EU) Farm-to-Fork Strategy is set to be implemented in 2022 and will come with an additional layer of regulations, which will have an impact on South Africa (SA). As background, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Mozambique-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) of 2016, enhanced market access benefits for SA.
These benefits included fully or partially removed customs duties on 98,7% of exports, and expansion of tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on key agricultural exports. Since the implementation of the agreement in October 2016, SA’s exports to the EU have increased by 25%, from US$2,2bn in 2017 to US$2,8bn in 2020, according to data from Trade Map. But there is cause for concern that this growth in exports could slow down as a new set of regulations, which is part of the EU Green Deal’s Farm-to-Fork Strategy1, is implemented.
The Farm-to-Fork Strategy
The EU and the rest of the world are seeking to implement urgent policy measures to combat the negative effects of climate change. In its 2030 climate target plan, the EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels. To that end, the EU has crafted the strategy, a new approach that ensures that agriculture, fisheries, and the entire food system effectively contributes to achieving this target.
The strategy was launched in 2020 and is at the core of a broader initiative called the European Green Deal, which aims to reduce the environmental and carbon footprint in the way food is produced and consumed.
The strategy lists 27 actions covering food production, processing, retailing, and waste. The strategy has four broad pillars: