Call for proposals to scope policy opportunities to achieve deforestation free diets


Consultancy opportunity to scope EU policy level opportunities to support a transition to more balanced diets and agroecological farming in the livestock industry 

This study will build on Fern’s report COVID, forests and forest peoples: the implications of the pandemic for forest campaigns’ which concluded that NGOS should ensure public funds don’t further entrench the meat industry. Industrial animal farming has caused most new infectious diseases, the meat and dairy industry are a huge driver of deforestation, and meat packing plants spread COVID widely in the US, Germany, Brazil, China and others. 

Despite this, the meat industry has benefitted hugely from COVID relief funds. Politicians aren’t putting forward alternatives to the mega-meat industry. There were temporary bans on some meat supplies and shutdowns of processing plants, but nothing fundamental has changed and concerns about the beef supply chain have not been resolved. Politicians and forest NGOs need to ensure post-COVID funding and policies do not further entrench the meat industry, but support a transition to more plant-based diets. 

This study will scope EU policy level opportunities to support a transition towards more balanced diets and agroecological farming in the livestock industry. This will inform Fern’s campaign strategy in 2022 and beyond to relieve pressure on natural ecosystems and the communities that depend on them by stopping forests from being converted to livestock and grain farming. 

The scoping will assess where Fern can have the biggest impact and added value, though special consideration should be given to the following policy areas: 

  1. Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform (DG Agri) - where could it lead?

  2. Farm to Fork strategy (F2F) (DG Agri) 

  3. Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) policy (DG Santé) 

The scoping will be based on desk research and interviews with: 

  1. NGOs from sustainable farming, CAP, and SFS sub groups 

  2. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on CAP reform and SFS 

  3. Representatives from DG Agri 

  4. Representatives from DG Santé 


  1. State of play of CAP, SFS and F2F policy developments 

  2. Assessment of their ability to reduce conversion of natural ecosystems to livestock and grain farming 

  3. Recommendations for policies or other actions that food, Fair Trade and development NGOs could conduct to reduce meat consumption & support agroecological farming in the EU. 

  4. Recommendations on how to engage in 2022 and beyond 

Timeline: Final report submitted by 15 October 2021 

How to apply:

Submit your CV, a short letter describing your proposed budget and how you would carry out this research to by 29 August 2021

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