Sat. Jun 25th, 2022

Luxembourg, 13 June 2022

Infographic – How the Russian invasion of Ukraine has further aggravated the global food crisis:

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Agriculture

Discussion on the market situation, especially following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia
On the basis of the European Council conclusions, ministers recalled the importance of effective coordination measures at international level to ensure a global response to food security. The ability to move stored grain out of Ukraine before the next harvest is needed both for Ukrainians and to ease international markets. With the latest information from the Commission and the member states, ministers continued their exchange of views on the situation of agricultural markets, both at global and European level, in the context of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Ministers also discussed the recent weather conditions in some member states, including Croatia.

In this context, sixteen delegations asked the Commission to extend, for the duration of the 2023 campaign, the principle of temporary derogations from certain provisions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) put in place for 2022. The Commission indicated that it would rapidly come back to the Council on this matter. Ministers also reaffirmed the self-sufficiency of the European Union (EU) for most agricultural commodities thanks to the CAP and confirmed the CAP’s ability to contribute to global food security, as underlined by the European Council.

Reciprocity of standards for imported agricultural products

Ministers exchanged views on the information provided by the Commission on its recently adopted report on the application of EU health and environmental standards to imported agricultural and agri-food products. The discussion followed an earlier debate organized by the French Presidency in February 2022 on strengthening the coherence between the European Green Deal, the Common Agricultural Policy and the EU’s trade policy.

The report demonstrated the ability to implement measures, in compliance with WTO standards, in multilateral fora, in bilateral trade agreements or through autonomous measures when a production standard is introduced in European regulations. Ministers welcomed the report and stressed that in several areas, such as animal welfare, which was mentioned by many delegations, the examination of reciprocity was relevant, in particular by mobilizing multilateral forums and bilateral negotiations. They further asked that a regular follow-up of the measures implemented or planned be carried out.

Other business

Ministers were also informed by the Presidency of the work carried out over the last three months on the proposal for a regulation on geographical indications (GIs). They further received information by the Commission on the state of play regarding the African swine fever epizootic in Europe and the need for the continued mobilization of all to eradicate it, as well as on the programming process for the European Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMAFA). They additionally were informed by the delegations on the recent weather conditions in member states (Croatia) and on a common approach concerning the objectives of reducing the sustainable use of plant protection products (Estonia).


Fisheries

Fishing opportunities for 2023

The Commission informed ministers of the state of implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), and of the launch of the public consultation on fishing opportunities for 2023, which will run until 31 August 2022. Ministers exchanged views on the state of fish stocks and stressed the importance of ensuring equal treatment between the three pillars of the CFP, as well as the need to recognize the efforts and improvements made by the sector. They further discussed the implementation of the landing obligation, the specificities of each sea basin, the impact of third country fisheries and the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, and the impact of other factors such as climate and pollution on the fisheries resource. Ministers additionally discussed the significant disruption to the fishing sector caused by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, whether it be in terms of trade flows, the development of scientific advice or the holding of certain negotiations at international level. They further mentioned the mobilization of the European Fund for Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Aquaculture (FEAMPA) to finance crisis measures to support the sector.

Meeting information
  • Meeting n°3880
  • Luxembourg
  • 13 June 2022
  • 11:00
Preparatory documents
Outcome documents

 


Statement by EU Commissioner Kyriakides following the AGRIFISH Council

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today’s meeting has allowed us to have an important political discussion on files which are crucial for our common goal: the promotion of a sustainable model for our food production system.

A sustainable food system is the only model that is viable for the future. It is the only model that allows us to preserve our planet, ensure long term food security, and provide healthy food for our citizens.

Firstly, on our contribution to global sustainability. As Janusz has underlined already, we had a first discussion today at political level on the application of health and environmental standards to imported agri-food products.

As you know, this report was eagerly awaited by the French presidency of the Council, and today we held an important and awaited exchange on this topic.

This report shows very clearly that, as the third-largest importer of food in the world, the EU has a key role to play in the development of more resilient and sustainable food systems.

We need to promote our high-level standards also on a global stage.
There are several areas of action where we can play a key role to promote our standards: multilateral fora; bilateral cooperation and trade agreements, and autonomous EU measures.

We know for example that our citizens want the EU to do more to take into account deforestation or animal welfare for our food standards.

The report confirms that this is already on-going, and that more could be done, in line with WTO compliance of course.

Secondly, sustainable food systems are dependent on our natural resources and on us protecting our biodiversity. Business as usual is not an option, we need to urgently ensure this crucial transition.

A key element to do so is to reduce the effects of pesticides on our air, water and wider environment. We will soon be presenting new EU rules to change the course on the use of pesticides, as part of our commitments under the Farm to Fork Strategy.

I have taken note of the concerns raised today by some Member States, and underlined that our proposal will not be about banning the use of pesticides.

It is about making sure we make every effort to avoid their use in situations where they are not necessary, especially where there are other alternatives. In other words, we need to stop the overuse of pesticides.

To achieve this, we need to have measurable targets, towards which we all contribute. This is the path we need to take if we are to ensure sustainability.

Sustainability is key in ensuring the future health of EU agriculture and whether we like it or not we have to act now to address the long-term challenges we are facing due to climate change and loss of biodiversity.
Let me be clear, the cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of action. Food security will be severely at risk. Our citizens health will be at risk.

I do not think anyone would like to see this happen. Our citizens definitely don’t.

Thirdly, we cannot have a sustainable food production system without healthy animals.

This is why I had requested that we have a discussion on African Swine Fever with the ministers today. It is imperative that we act faster and more efficiently, at EU level, to tackle this major threat to our pigs and pork sector.

In 2021 almost 800 000 pigs died or were culled because of ASF. And the EU is not done yet with the disease, far from it, with new cases being reported. As for any outbreak: time is of essence.

Today, I called on all ministers to step up their awareness campaigns, to supportthe development and trials for a safe and effective vaccine.

Medical countermeasures are also key to tackling viruses affecting our animals.

With the Czech Presidency, we will organize a ministerial conference on this topic in September to which we will invite both agriculture and environment ministers, to discuss concrete ways forward.