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A Policy Mix Aimed at Reducing Impacts of Agricultural Production and Consumption

A Policy Mix Aimed at Reducing Impacts of Agricultural Production and Consumption

Synthesis of Potential Impacts

As part of the DYNAMIX project, three policy reports that synthesised the assessments of three policy mixes (a land use policy mix; a metals and materials use policy mix; and an overarching policy mix) were written in order to support the pathway to absolute decoupling in the EU.

This policy mix aimed at reducing land use, freshwater use and nutrient surplus through improvements in food production, changes in diet and reductions in food waste. This policy mix emphasizes five instruments (revision of the Common Agricultural Policy; measures limiting nitrogen emissions; regulation for land use, land use change and forestry; improved pesticide management; and promotion of payment for ecosystem services programmes) to improve food production. Three instruments were suggested for the consumption side to change dietary habits (a value added tax on meat products; targeted information campaigns on changing diets and on food waste; and the development of food redistribution programmes).

The mix assessment identified positive environmental effects, which would contribute mainly to the targets on reducing CO2 emissions and nutrient surpluses. Also, a positive side-effect on health was expected. Nevertheless, a lack of public acceptance might prevent its implementation. In order to mitigate unintended side-effects, a reduction of the VAT for cereals, vegetables and fruits to offset food price increases and advisory services for farmers to avoid losses resulting from the change to sustainable farming were recommended.

The policy brief [pdf, 1.7 MB, English] is available for download.


Hinzmann, Mandy (2016): A policy mix aimed at reducing impacts of agricultural production and consumption. DYNAMIX Policy Report No. 2. Berlin: Ecologic Institute

26 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1 Rationale behind the policy mix
1.1. Pressure on global land resources caused by EU consumption
1.2. Environmental degradation within EU territory caused by agricultural production practices
2 Structure and design of the land policy mix
3 Potential of the policy mix to reduce pressure on global land and to enhance the environment
3.1. Potential environmental impacts
3.2. Potential side effects of the policy mix
3.3. Coherence of the policy mix and the role of sequencing
4 Pointers for revision
5 Outlook and caveats

resource consumption, absolute decoupling, sustainable development, Europe, land use, freshwater use, virgin metals, nutrients, emissions, sustainable consumption, sustainable production, dematerialization, policy brief, assessment.,