K.Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture: an agreement has been reached in Luxembourg to apply preferences to agricultural production at EU level in 2023 as well
Monday June 13, in Luxemburg, Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture and the Ministers for Agriculture of other EU Member States participated in the Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries where they discussed the current situation on the market of agricultural products, developed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the global food provision.
K.Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture and Ministers of other EU Member States have repeatedly proposed to envisage certain derogations from the EU environmental and climate requirements in order to increase areas used for agricultural production. After repeated appeals, at the Council meeting in Luxemburg, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski confirmed that the Commission has agreed to claims by Member States and will prepare a relevant legislation proposal.
“Assessing the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine on production of agricultural produce and food, Latvia has recurrently drawn attention of the COM that further solutions must be found at the EU level as to how to increase areas used in agricultural production. It is essential not only with a view to ensuring population with food at reasonable prices but also to enable farmers to receive reasonable income. Therefore, we appreciate willingness, expressed by the Commissioner for Agriculture to prepare a respective legislation proposal”, pointed out K.Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture.
In case no amendments are made to the current regulation, in 2023 a considerable area of agricultural land will have to be fully used to improve the situation with the environment and climate and it will not be permitted for agricultural production. This, in its turn, will reduce food and fodder production potential of the EU.
At the Council meeting, COM presented a report to Member States on the application of EU health and environmental standards to imported agricultural and food products. Latvia supports application of equal requirements to agricultural goods and food, imported into EU from third countries. It is necessary to ensure that EU producers are in equal situation as third country producers who until now were able to export to EU food and agricultural goods at lower standards thus, placing EU producers in unequal competition conditions.
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