NGOs call for less and better meat, dairy and eggs in the Farm to Fork Strategy

NGOs call for less and better meat, dairy and eggs in the Farm to Fork Strategy

Brussels — Ahead of the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy, Food & Water Europe and 19 other NGOs wrote to key Commissioners and Commission Vice-President Timmermans to call on them to recognise and address the need to reduce and improve the production and consumption of meat, dairy and eggs in the strategy.

Read the letter.

More Than 30 MEPs Raise Their Voices Against a 23,000 Dairy-Cow Factory Farm in Spain

En Español

Madrid, Brussels, February 27th 2019 — Thirty-three MEPs from six different political groups and 11 countries endorsed a letter [1] sent today to Spanish national and regional governments urging them to stop a projected factory farm that would house more than 23,000 dairy cows [2]. It would be the biggest dairy farm in the European Union and opens the doors to a factory farm model imported from the US that has no place in Europe.

A coalition of environmental NGOs, local organisations and farmers [3] is opposing this project for its potential impacts on rural economies, the environment, local communities, water and air quality, as well as the global impact of factory farming on climate change.

David Sánchez, campaigner at Food & Water Europe, said: “The Spanish and regional governments shouldn’t allow this factory farm model to be imported from the United States into Europe. Its severe impacts in the US are well documented: it doesn’t help rural communities and it has nothing to do with the model of farming that citizens demand in Europe.”

Florent Marcellesi, Member of the European Parliament and co-signatory of the letter, said: “The EU must stop turning a blind eye on the worrying spread of mega factory farms like the one in Noviercas. This kind of factory farming is making Spain become Europe’s dump while it destroys employment, our health, the environment, the climate and the opportunities in the rural areas. We already brought this fight to Brussels and from here we’ll keep on working to ensure the EU turns as soon as possible to sustainable and healthy farming, which respects animal welfare and contributes to the development of rural areas.”


[1] The letter and the list of signatories can be found here in Spanish and English.

[2] More information about the project can be found here in:


[3] The coalition includes, among others, Greenpeace Spain, Friends of the Earth Spain, Ecologistas en Acción, Food & Water Europe and farmers’ union COAG.


David Sánchez, Food & Water Europe, +32 (0) 2893 1045, +34 616206942, dsanchez(at)

Florent Marcellesi. +3222837743 [email protected]


More than 30 Grassroots Movements and NGOs Form an Alliance Against Factory Farming in Spain

Madrid—Last weekend, the second national meeting of Spanish communities against factory farming took place in Minglanilla (Cuenca), involving more than 20 grassroots movements from affected areas all over the country and ten national and international organisations.

The organisation of a national coordination against factory farming started last year to face the dramatic and uncontrolled increase of factory farms in Spain. Its aim is to coordinate movements and organisations opposing this industry.

“The second national meeting ‘Stop Factory Farmin’’ has been a clear success. Many movements from affected regions were represented, with loads of energy to campaign against the hundreds of new factory farm projects that could turn our rural areas into real dung-hills,” said Inma Lozano, spokesperson of the National Alliance Stop Factory Farming. “Factory farming has severe impacts on the environment, public health, rural economies and animal welfare and we need to stop it as soon as possible,” she added.

The National Coordination supports the mobilizations against factory farming that will happen in Talavera de la Reina (Toledo) on Thursday 31st of May, organised by the regional platforms.



The Spanish National Coordination against Factory Farming (Coordinadora Estatal Stop Ganadería Industrial) includes local movements from Andalusia (Stop Cerdos Intensivos en el Altiplano de Granada y Almería), Aragon (Plataforma Loporzano SIN Ganadería Intensiva), Castille-La Mancha (ADERA – Asociación para la Economía Responsable de Almendros, Asociación ecologista Serendipia, CLM Stop Macrogranjas, Coordinadora Acuífero 23 sin macrogranjas, El Horcajo Plataforma Cívica- Lucillos, Plataforma Cívica de Gamonal, Plataforma no a la macrogranja en Pozuelo y Argamasón, Plataforma Retamoso Sostenible – Stop Macrogranjas, Pueblos Vivos Cuenca, Pueblos Vivos/Stop Macrogranjas de Cañete, Pueblos Vivos/Stop Macrogranjas de Priego, Stop Macrogranjas Alpera y Ayora, Stop macrogranjas Comarca de Molina de Aragón), Castille and Leon (Plataforma Pueblos unidos de Tábara) and Murcia (Plataforma Ciudadana Salvemos el Arabí y Comarca); and national and international NGO (Friends of the Earth Spain, Compassion in World Farming, Ecologistas en Acción, Food & Water Europe, Greenpeace and Justicia Alimentaria).





La industria española del porcino supone el 37 por ciento del total de la producción ganadera, y el 14 por ciento de la producción agraria total, generando alrededor de 6 millones de euros en 2014.

España es el tercer mayor exportador mundial de porcino, detrás de China y Estados Unidos, tras convertirse en 2015 en el principal exportador de la Unión Europea (UE), por delante de Alemania y Dinamarca. En ese mismo año, España
alcanzó también el mayor censo de la UE, con 28.3 millones de cerdos. Mientras que otros productores europeos reducen su producción, España la incrementa, así como sus exportaciones, como resultado de una industria con un alto nivel de integración y con los costes de producción más reducidos entre los principales países productores de la UE.





Spain is the third largest exporter of pork after China and the United States and has the largest pig population in the EU, 28,3 million animals.

Production and exports are growing as a result of high industry integration and low production costs. But that means that the industry is getting concentrated in just a few hands, with the number of farms diminishing rapidly and farmers facing growing marginalization. And this industry is not being held accountable for its impacts on the environment, workers and communities.

New Report: For-Profit Animal Science Undermines Safe Food, Trade

Brussels and Washington, D.C.— A new report (.pdf) published today by Food & Water Europe exposes the enormous influence that corporate drug companies play in the peer-reviewed science surrounding risky veterinary drugs widely used in the United States but forbidden in the EU. The U.S. approach of allowing the marketplace to determine the safety of risky veterinary drugs rather than independent science—as was the case with the beef cattle growth-promoter Zilmax, which was removed from the U.S. market in 2013—makes any move toward regulatory “harmony” via an EU-U.S. trade agreement a serious threat to safety of the EU food system.

Food & Water Europe EU Food Policy Analyst Eve Mitchell said, “It’s clear that some favourable safety findings on the drugs widely used to produce food are effectively bought and paid for by the companies that stand to profit. The cornerstones of the scientific method, like independent replication of findings, simply aren’t being honoured, and many U.S. farmers are giving their animals questionable drugs every day because of it. This is not the kind of food production we want or need, yet a trans-Atlantic trade deal will reinforce these safety problems for everyone.”

The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a vast trade deal under negotiation between the U.S. and EU. Highly controversial topics like genetically modified (GM) food and hormone treatments in meat animals have all but stalled progress of TTIP, which was supposed to conclude negotiations later this year. “Governments on both sides insist neither regulatory system will be eroded by TTIP and that food safety will continue to be guaranteed, but today’s report shows safety isn’t even clear now,” says Mitchell.

A major problem is with the scientific journals that publish the studies. Industry groups play an enormous role in the production of scientific literature, authoring journal articles, funding academic research and also serving as editors, sponsors or directors of the same scientific journals where much of their research is published.

Mitchell said, “It’s not just a matter of EU and U.S. regulators agreeing that their counterparts consulted the science and concluded drugs are safe when that science is comprised. Now, consumers on both sides of the Atlantic are being asked to place our faith in “harmonised’ approval systems.”

“This report documents the problems in animal science research, but the same weak disclosure rules, industry influence and lack of independent research appears to pervade much of agricultural research, from GMOs to cloning to herbicides. It’s huge.”

Mitchell added, “There’s a lot of talk about ‘free trade” out there, especially when in comes to TTIP, but it’s full of holes. To function properly, genuinely free markets rely on complete information available to all, and this report shows how deep the disclosure problem goes. The EU is not immune to these problems.”

Food & Water Europe calls on scientific journals to disclose the funding sources for papers they publish and says the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also needs to do more to ensure the research it uses to determine the safety of products in the food chain has been thoroughly and independently assessed.

Mitchell concluded, “The merits of EFSA’s ongoing project on openness and transparency will be called into question unless it does more to ensure it is not relying on for-profit science. EFSA should publish the authorship affiliations and funding sources of the science it consults. Some large portion of the science EFSA consults is likely to have been biased by industry authorship and funding, but the public can’t see where this happens. This has to change.”

Read For Profit Animal Science Undermines Safe Food Trade:

Contact: Eve Mitchell, Food & Water Europe (UK time), +44(0)1381 610 740, [email protected]