Increasing the sustainability of agricultural production is a key goal of both the European Commission and consumers. This is also valid - from a consumer perspective - for the availability of healthy foods produced in this way and for protecting the environment. This can minimise the negative effects caused by ongoing climate change. Additionally, sustainable production and careful use of resources contributes to maintaining and increasing biodiversity.
With a total of 6.4 million hectares, the cultivated area for winter oilseed rape – the most important oil crop in the EU by far – exceeded that of sunflowers (4.1 million ha) and soya beans (0.92 million ha) considerably in 2016. This crop species has experienced rapid progress in recent decades thanks to being subject to plant breeders. Thus, varieties that are free of erucic acid and low in mustard oil have become available for agriculture, the processing food industry, animal feed and, subsequently, to consumers as a result of dedicating breeding.