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Recommendations to Improve Biodiversity Protection in Policy and Criteria of Food Standards and Sourcing Requirements of Food Companies and Retailers

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Recommendations to Improve Biodiversity Protection in Policy and Criteria of Food Standards and Sourcing Requirements of Food Companies and Retailers

Abstract

The present recommendations are directed primarily at standard organisations as well as companies of the food sector with own sourcing requirements. They should support the management of standards and companies in the efforts to improve biodiversity performance as well as those persons responsible for the revision of standard criteria and companies sourcing rules, persons responsible for product quality and sustainability coordinators. Cooperatives and associations of the food sector are invited to use the recommendations as an orientation for a more biodiversity compatible agricultural production process and to promote their implementation. Furthermore, political decision makers should take the recommendations and related measures in consideration in funding programs and as requirements for subventions for the agricultural sector. This would be an important step towards a more biodiversity friendly agricultural framework and would support farmers applying biodiversity compatible practices. The recommendations are addressing degradation and destruction of ecosystems, overexploitation of natural resources and invasive, alien species. Climate change as further driver for the loss of biodiversity is not considered, because most of the standards and sourcing requirements include criteria on climate protection. Nevertheless, it is important to underline that all measures for climate protection (for example short distances of transportation) and the avoidance of contamination contribute to the protection of biodiversity. By implementing the recommendations, the food sector with agriculture as the main supplier, would make a very relevant contribution towards the protection of biodiversity as an essential component of sustainable food systems in Europe and worldwide.
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2017

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