Agriculture Ministers welcome EU Farm to Fork strategy
by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)
The EU Agriculture Ministers unanimously welcomed the Farm to Fork strategy for sustainable agriculture presented by the EU Commission. At the same time, the ministers are illustrating that in this strategy they see future plans that have little to do with the current debate on agricultural subsidies for the years 2021 to 2027.
Germanys Federal Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner, who chaired the Council meeting, assessed the unanimous decision as "an important signal and commitment to a sustainable and economically viable agricultural and food industry. In her view, the Council's conclusions are a commitment to an agriculture "which relies on innovation and digital technology" and "which can operate profitably and thus compete with others".
Only in third place does Klöckner mention the goal that agriculture "secures its own economic basis and better protects our resources". The Minister emphasized that the conclusions of the Council served the EU Commission "as a guideline for its future work".
The EU agriculture ministers are demanding "scientifically sound" impact assessments from the Commission, which are to form the basis for EU legislative proposals under the farm to fork strategy. According to the conclusions, the council looks forward to the discussions of the legislative proposals announced until the end of 2023.
The Council stated that the competitiveness of EU agriculture "must be given appropriate attention" during implementation. Also, "ensuring an adequate income for primary producers is of utmost importance for a successful transition to a sustainable food system". The Council also called on the Commission to "further promote the prudent and responsible use of pesticides, antimicrobials and fertilisers".
The Council of Ministers only touches on the ongoing negotiations on the Common Agricultural Policy for the years 2021 to 2027 and the associated subsidies in point 31 of its conclusions. The future CAP and the associated strategic plans of the member states "will be able to contribute to the greening of the CAP and thus to some of the objectives envisaged in the F2F strategy," it says. It is also expected that the future CAP will strengthen the principle of subsidiarity and respect the different national conditions and needs of the Member States.
"The position on CAP reform shows that these are empty words" twittered the German environmental association NABU as a comment on the Council conclusions. On its NABU-GAP ticker, the association further states: "Minister Julia Klöckner has dismissed the Green Deal for the German Council Presidency as a mere 'vision' of the EU Commission, which for the time being has little to do with the reality of the CAP."