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EU - The Member States in the EU Food System: National Regulatory Options for Sustainable Food Offer, Food Consumption and Food Environments

European Union

Jun 04, 2024

The Framework for Sustainable Food Systems law will either not be published at all or after a long delay. Whereas the first part of the article constructs an empirical and theoretical underpinning about why the EU Member States should therefore act on food sustainability, the second part focuses on what legal measures Member States can take.

In the first part, leaning on food systems thinking, we argue that in the absence of EU action in the matter, the Member States remain the most potent lever for taking regulatory action on addressing sustainability in the food system.

In the second part, the article provides an exploratory study of potential national legal instruments for making domestic food systems more sustainable, with an emphasis on the regulation of offer and consumption of foods and food environments. The article discusses the following legal instruments in the context of EU law and Member States’ room for action, with examples from a comparative perspective: public procurement purchasing by governments, product composition requirements, fiscal measures, non-fiscal pricing instruments, labelling & certification, marketing, and the regulation of private and public food environments. The article further concludes that it may prove useful to better enshrine the food sustainability paradigm in law at national level.


Author(s):  Schebesta, H.

Published in: European Journal of Risk Regulation

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