Farmers’ in Sweden and their farm organization Lantbrukarnas Riksförbund, LRF, have for many years been working for a national food strategy.
On January 16, 2017 an important policy achievement has been accomplished when the Swedish Government, together with the majority of the opposition, for the first time in 25 years, presented promising goals for the country’s future agricultural production.
The overall objective of the food strategy is a competitive food chain where the total food production is increasing in order to create growth and employment as well as contributing to sustainable development in the country. The time horizon is 2030.
The goals include strengthening competitiveness, increasing production, profitability and employment. An important issue for Swedish farmers’ has been to do something about ever increasing challenges in the field of new rules and regulations hampering the competitiveness. On this issue there are promising formulations stating that competitiveness and profitability should also be considered when government and authorities decide on rules and implementing the same. Other important issues of the strategy are the consumer perspective, exports and the pronounced need for innovation to increase productivity.
Why is it important with a food strategy?
• Sweden has not had a strategy or equivalent since the early 1990s
• Swedish agriculture has lost market shares in 25 years
• Agriculture is a long-term business and needs a vision and long term rules
• With a strategy, it is easier to get a consensus on what needs to be done (farmers, industry, commerce, consumers, politicians, public authorities)
• Increased Swedish production provides more jobs in the country, leads to a better global environment and reduces Swedish vulnerability
• Today Sweden imports 50 percent of its food consumption. Increased production and a higher level of self-sufficiency would improve the country’s possibilities to withstand crises
• An increased national production enlarges the possibility for consumers to have an influence on their food is produced. Swedish farmers have high standards for their production with regards to the environment and animal welfare. This goes hand in hand with demands from Swedish consumers
• Food industry and agriculture provide employment throughout the whole of Sweden. Increased Swedish production contributes positively to the viability of rural areas
• Agriculture also keeps the landscape open in parts of the country covered with forest. It also promotes biodiversity
For more info: https://www.lrf.se/om-lrf/press/
Phone number: 08-787 57 77