MSc thesis defence Floor Ruttenberg: EU’s Externalisation of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategy and its Derived Actions

March 18, 2024

You are hereby invited to the MSc thesis presentation by Floor Ruttenberg on 'European Union’s Externalisation of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategy and its Derived Actions: Potential Implications for Ghanaian Food Sovereignty'.

Supervisor: Jeroen Candel
Examiner: Otto Hospes

Date: March 28, 2024
Time: 14.00 – 15.30
Hybrid meeting: room 1011, Leeuwenborch; MS Teams link: Click here to join the meeting

As part of the European Green Deal, the European Union has introduced two comprehensive strategies to achieve a (global) sustainable agricultural system: the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategy. The success of these strategies depends on how well they are facilitative to create a global transition, underscored by a multitude of external objectives and externalisation mechanisms. Developing countries, especially those reliant on exports to the European Union, are vulnerable for these mechanisms. This vulnerability raises the question of what influence the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategy have on the food sovereignty of non-EU and developing countries. However, there is a research gap regarding this influence. Using Ghana as a case study, this research aims to provide insight into externalisation of Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategy objectives to Ghana and its potential influence on Ghanaian food sovereignty. An exploratory research methodology consisting of policy analysis (n=17), semi-structured interviews (n=12), literature analysis (n=14), and usage of other types of literature (n=5) was employed. It was found that the European Union applies a multitude of externalisation mechanisms, but that the objectives of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategy have not (yet) been externalised to Ghana. The exception to this is the Deforestation Regulation, which was found to be externalised and was found to influence Ghanaian food sovereignty. Furthermore, the research identifies a variety of power dynamics within the Ghanaian food sovereignty realm, with the European Union assuming the role of a key actor. By offering a comprehensive insight of European Union externalisation vis-à-vis Ghanaian food sovereignty, this research fills a critical research gap and suggest several avenues for future research.

Keywords: externalisation mechanisms, food sovereignty, power dynamics