As can be seen from the ongoing CAP negotiations, agriculture has always been seen as the apple of EU discord. This has become even more pronounced as the SDGs and European priorities have shifted putting the EU Green Deal at the centre of the political agenda and calling for a rethinking of how we approach agriculture, sustainability and innovation. The ambition of the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy will require close collaboration between sustainability and innovation to develop a new pathway forward that goes beyond the current stalemate. However, public discourse and the narratives framing these issues remain relics of a past environment and inhibit any movement in this direction. The narratives are presented as members of two antagonistic groups referred to for convenience as “precaution focused” versus “innovation-focused”.
Re-Imagine Europa (RIE) launched a Task Force on Sustainable Agriculture and Innovation to create a forum for real dialogue between different viewpoints on the topic. In particular, the aim is to better understand the emotions and values behind different perspectives and to see if, with ambitious climate goals as a clear priority, it is possible to find positive pathways forward. RIE presents two related reports, looking at what we can learn from existing narratives and the ramifications for policy.