Rather less dialog, a bit extra motion please – EURACTIV.com

What do Elvis and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have in widespread? Besides their debonair beauty and suave fashion, extra importantly, each need us to know: It’s now or by no means.

With the struggle in Ukraine elevating issues over international meals shortages, there was a lot discuss emergency measures in Europe’s agricultural coverage.

“We must act with these measures, in the short term, to address food security and affordability concerns now,” EU agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski mentioned in a latest handle to lawmakers.

Measures proposed by the EU government in its just lately revealed communication on meals safety embrace enjoyable some environmental necessities, such as allowing farmers to plant crops on land that was beforehand put aside for biodiversity.

The underlying argument appears to be that to cope with short-term, pressing issues, it is smart to briefly droop or weaken environmental efforts, which serve long-term objectives like local weather and biodiversity safety.

But from the angle of the IPCC, a world panel of local weather scientists that issued its newest evaluation report on the right way to mitigate local weather change on Monday (4 April), this logic has all of it the other way up.

Or, within the iconic phrases of the king of Rock and Roll: Tomorrow will probably be too late.

The scientists discovered that to restrict international warming, the subsequent few years are vital, so, fairly than being a long-term mission, steps to combat local weather change should be taken instantly, the report concludes – local weather measures are emergency measures.

“It’s now or never if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 °C,” Jim Skea, co-chair of the IPCC working group answerable for the report, advised journalists. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible,” he added.

According to the situations that the report assessed, if we need to cease international warming from going past 1.5 °C, greenhouse gasoline emissions must peak earlier than 2025 on the newest and be diminished by 43% by 2030.

And the stakes for the agriculture and meals sector are excessive. According to a beforehand revealed chapter of the IPCC report, international warming may majorly pressure meals methods and make hundreds of thousands worldwide topic to meals insecurity.

The researchers discovered that even a small enhance in international temperatures will imply farmers must grapple with extra frequent and extra extreme climate occasions.

While, based on the IPCC, local weather change is already affecting meals safety in weak areas like Africa and Asia, a new examine by the suppose tank Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) tasks that international warming by 2 °C would scale back wheat yields by 12% even within the southern areas of Europe.

But whereas international warming may depart agriculture, all shook up, the hopeful message of the newest report is that the sector may make vital contributions in the direction of limiting local weather change – if we act quick.

Agriculture and forestry can “provide large-scale emissions reductions and also remove and store carbon dioxide at scale” the report states. However, it cautions that the land-use sector alone can’t compensate for delayed emissions reductions in different sectors.

Moreover, the researchers discovered that enhancing the local weather footprint of agricultural merchandise may assist cut back emissions alongside the worth chain. This will occur if downstream sectors use agricultural merchandise which are sustainably sourced. They notice that local weather measures in farming can usually convey “co-benefits” similar to biodiversity conservation or ecosystem providers.

Despite all this, the report additionally finds that thus far, insurance policies particularly concentrating on emissions from agriculture and the manufacturing of feed and different inputs are uncommon.

This is an space the place the EU may step up – in spite of everything, it has loads of laws, directives, frameworks and revamps within the works set to make farming and meals extra sustainable, all (or most) beneath the overarching framework of the flagship Farm to Fork technique.

The query is now: When will we see these proposals carried out, and the way bold will the ultimate product be?

The recipe for fulfillment may simply lie within the knowledge of the king of rock and roll once more: rather less dialog – a bit extra motion.

Agrifood tales of the week

Agriculture Commissioner: It is ‘prudent’ to prioritise upping EU meals manufacturing
Increasing meals manufacturing in Europe is a precedence in mild of the Ukraine struggle, based on the EU’s agri-boss, who detailed how the European Commission encourages member states to do that by means of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Natasha Foote has the story.

EU foresees rise in grain exports to plug Ukrainian wheat international hole
In the subsequent two years, the European Commission estimates a 30% enhance in exports of cereals to mitigate the influence on international markets of the diminished Ukrainian yield because of the struggle. Gerardo Fortuna has the main points.

Industrial emissions proposal criticised by farming sector
Lawmakers and stakeholders near the agriculture neighborhood accused the EU government of being disconnected from actuality and creating further forms after presenting new guidelines to curb air pollution within the industrial sector. Gerardo Fortuna has extra.

EU-wide protein technique on the playing cards as Commission modifications its tune
The European Commission has now backed the creation of an EU-wide protein technique, U-turning on a earlier place after persistent lobbying from MEPs and member states. Learn extra.

EU lawmakers name on Commission to finish meat promotion amid Ukraine disaster
EU lawmakers throughout get together teams have referred to as on the European Commission to cease selling meat consumption because the struggle in Ukraine impacts the worldwide meals provide and results in feed shortages within the EU. Read extra.

Cultivated meat corporations gear up for first EU approval purposes
Amid rising curiosity in plant-based diets, European cultivated meat corporations are making ready to take their first steps in the direction of EU approval, however some warn the know-how may do extra hurt than good. Natasha Foote explores extra on this deep dive.

EU well being authorities probe multi-country Salmonella outbreak linked to chocolate eggs
Two prime EU well being our bodies introduced on Wednesday (6 April) that an outbreak brought on by Salmonella is quickly evolving in six European Union international locations, Norway, and the United Kingdom (UK), with Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs recognized because the possible route of an infection. Giedre Peseckyte has the main points.

Germany break up over ramping up meals manufacturing
The debate over scrapping environmental measures to supply extra meals and mitigate issues brought on by the Ukraine struggle has break up German policymakers and up to now, federal and regional governments haven’t been capable of finding a center floor. Julia Dahm has extra.

Germany fears seasonal labour shortages as Ukraine struggle rages on
This yr, labour provide bottlenecks may develop into an issue because of the Ukraine struggle and the continuing pandemic, and whereas the German Farmers’ Association (DBV) requires the foundations to be relaxed, critics argue deeper points stay. EURACTIV Germany reviews.

France’s CAP plan ‘only partially’ helps inexperienced transition, Commission says
The European Commission expressed reservations about France’s nationwide strategic plan, saying it didn’t meet the environmental commitments of the brand new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), based on an commentary letter. EURACTIV France reviews.

CAP nook

Commission considers name for distinctive flexibility beneath CAP second pillar: The EU government is open to wanting intimately into member states’ name for extra flexibility within the rural growth spending to assist European farmers hit by the Ukraine struggle, which has put additional stress on the agriculture sector. Gerardo Fortuna has the entire story.

Special report: To deal with the fallout of the Ukraine struggle, the European Commission has requested member states to adapt their Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) nationwide strategic plans in consideration of the brand new geopolitical context and adopted plenty of derogations. Throughout the month of April, EURACTIV’s community will take a look at how 10 completely different member states plan to make use of these new flexibilities and the way this might change the course of the CAP reform on this Special Report.

Go your individual approach: The European Commission despatched commentary letters to the 19 member states who submitted their CAP nationwide strategic plans by the deadline. Despite the truth that the Commission tried to postpone their publication, plenty of international locations have chosen to go forward and publish their plans anyway. You can discover the hyperlinks to the revealed plans in our CAP plan tracker.

News from the bubble

Food diplomacy: In a weblog submit, Josep Borrell, Vice-President of the European Commission, referred to as for a renewed give attention to meals safety provided that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has provoked “massive hikes in food prices and created the risk of food shortages”. “After the “mask diplomacy” and the “vaccine diplomacy”, we’re most likely getting into now a interval of “food diplomacy”, and we’ve got to combat an extra “battle of narratives” with the Russian disinformation equipment,” he wrote.

Pesticide ban: The European Commission confirmed on Friday (8 April) that sulfoxaflor insecticide will quickly be banned within the EU solely seven years after its first approval as a consequence of issues about its toxicity to bees. When banning a pesticide for environmental causes, the European Commission restricts them to greenhouse use as, in idea, no leaks can happen.

Italians take all of it: Italian centre-right wing Salvatore De Meo introduced on Twitter he has been appointed as rapporteur on the revision of the EU’s promotion coverage, with which the EU helps sure European foodstuffs to spice up their competitiveness and consumption domestically and internationally. De Meo’s appointment follows within the footsteps of one other Italian MEP, the socialist Paolo De Castro, who will oversee the opposite delicate file of the geographical indications (GIs) revision.

Carbon farming: Farming ministers adopted conclusions on carbon farming primarily based on the components of the Commission’s ‘sustainable carbon cycles’ communication this week. See right here for extra data.

Long-term influence: The Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) revealed a new temporary this week on the influence that local weather change, biodiversity loss and soil erosion can have on meals availability in Europe in the long term.

EU resilience: The World Economic Forum revealed a brand new report, ‘Transforming Food Systems with Farmers: A Pathway for the EU’, this week which discovered that if one farmer in 5 transitions to extra climate-smart practices, it is going to enhance the EU’s resiliency to meals provide shocks and handle the worst results of local weather change.

Consumer (dis)belief: EIT Food revealed a brand new meals belief report this week, surveying over 20,000 shoppers to find out how a lot belief European shoppers have within the meals system. It concluded that lower than half of European shoppers trust within the meals sector. Learn extra.

A wider view

New platform: The world farmers’ organisation (WFO) has launched a centralised platform offering correct, up to date data on the problems affecting agriculture amid the continuing Ukraine disaster. Check it out right here.

Price hikes: World meals commodity costs made a big leap in March to succeed in their highest ranges ever, because the struggle within the Black Sea area unfold shocks by means of markets for staple grains and vegetable oils, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) reported this week.

High-risk of zoonotic illnesses: Meanwhile, a separate FAO report warned that disruption of provide chains, animal well being providers, and surveillance would influence early detection, prevention and management of excessive influence animal and zoonotic illnesses. The dangers of illness unfold in Ukraine and neighbouring international locations is excessive and should be re-evaluated to use coordinated and focused, risk-based management measures,” the report reads. Learn extra.

Rapid response plan: In order to deal with the quickly deteriorating meals safety state of affairs, the FAO has up to date its Rapid Response Plan (RRP) for Ukraine, calling for a revised funding requirement of $115.4 million to assist the 327,209 weak smallholder and medium-sized farming households by means of December 2022.

Support for sub-Saharan Africa: The FAO additionally launched a brand new part of its key agricultural coverage monitoring and evaluation initiative, centered on supporting reforms in eight Sub-Saharan African international locations as they face an array of world challenges with an $11 million grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Learn extra.

Agrifood information from the CAPitals


V4 farmers demand postponement of latest CAP for a yr because of the struggle. Representatives of the most important agricultural organisations of the 4 Visegrad Group states and 5 different international locations have collectively referred to as for a brief postponement of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, in addition to of different environmental measures. Learn extra.


Commission bemoans lack of clear targets in Austrian CAP plan. Following the instance of plenty of different member states, the Austrian agriculture ministry has revealed the European Commission’s first evaluation of the nation’s strategic plan for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform. While the EU government positively notes Austria’s efforts to assist small farmers in addition to the elevated price range earmarked for setting and local weather measures and community-led native growth, the letter “requests Austria to revise the proposed target values.” Specifically, outcome indicators ought to be made extra correct and benchmarks set at an enough degree to realize key objectives of the brand new CAP, the Commission writes.


French farmers affected by late frost. In latest weeks, nightly frosts have been wreaking havoc on French crops. The downside isn’t new: Last yr, the nation’s agriculture had already struggled with frost in spring. But whereas, in 2021, it was vineyards that have been particularly affected, the largest harm this yr is taken by fruit bushes. Get the total story right here.


Farmers name on EU Commission to be strict with German CAP plan. In a letter to the European Commission, the German Farmers’ Association (DBV) has referred to as on the EU government to demand changes to Germany’s strategic plan for the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Among different issues, the farmers would love the Commission to demand extra enticing presents for dairy farms in terms of the so-called eco-schemes, in addition to a discount of pink tape. “We need more practicability and better financial support for farmers,” the affiliation’s president, Joachim Rukwied, mentioned. While the Commission has already despatched suggestions letters to all international locations that submitted their strategic plans on time, Germany continues to be awaiting a reply as its plan had been late.


Spain begins work on adapting CAP plan. The Spanish agriculture ministry and the autonomous areas have launched talks on adapting the nation’s strategic plan for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform to the European Commission’s proposals on safeguarding meals safety within the face of the struggle in Ukraine. Find the total story right here.


Ministry offers the inexperienced mild to the web register for grains. Italy’s agriculture minister Stefano Patuanelli has signed a brand new decree establishing the web register for cereals, referred to as Granaio Italia (“Italian barn”). The loading and unloading of cereals will probably be registered with a view to facilitate extra correct monitoring of cereal manufacturing on the nationwide territory. An experimental part throughout which penalties won’t apply will final till 31 December 2023 to confirm the efficient operation of the instrument, in addition to to wish to make any modifications. The recipients are agricultural companies and cooperatives, in addition to merchants and first processors. (Gerardo Fortuna | EURACTIV.com)


UK farming may take “permanent” hit from post-Brexit labour shortages. Britains meals and farming sector have may see “permanent” harm from the labour shortages brought on by Brexit and accentuated by the COVID pandemic, UK lawmakers discover in a report revealed on Wednesday (6 April). Read the full story.


Greece goals to extend cereal crop manufacturing. The intention of the Greek authorities is to allow a rise in cereal crops, the nation’s minister of meals and rural growth, Georgios Georgantas, burdened throughout a convention on Monday (4 April). Georgantas pointed to measures amounting to € 200 million for the assist of farmers that the Greek authorities has taken, in addition to to the choice of the European Commission to activate the Crisis Fund, from which Greece nonetheless has 26 million euros. The minister added {that a} plan for additional assist for farmers and the acquisition of fertilisers is into account. He additionally confirmed that farmers are exempt from the enterprise tax for this yr. (Georgia Evangelia Karagianni| EURACTIV.gr)


Tilled space for sowing much like final spring. Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Tugomir Majdak mentioned on Wednesday that the scale of the realm tilled this spring for the sowing season was much like the realm coated by final yr’s spring sowing. Answering questions from some Opposition parliamentary deputies a few fall within the manufacturing of fruit and greens final yr, Majdak mentioned that the decline was to a big extent as a consequence of pure disasters to which orchards and vegetable gardens have been uncovered. He additionally knowledgeable the parliament that within the subsequent 4 years, 313 million kuna (€42 million) can be disbursed for the consolidation of 18,000 hectares of arable land. Improving the system for the restructuring of farmland and its consolidation is a reform measure beneath the 2021-2026 National Recovery and Resilience Plan, and its implementation requires 313 million kuna (€41,73), of which 80% is anticipated to return from EU funds and 20% from the state price range. (Željko Trkanjec, Euractiv.hr)


Medical hashish to be grown in Albania. The Albanian authorities will instantly begin work to legalise the cultivation of medical hashish after a nationwide session confirmed 61% thought the federal government ought to permit its cultivation, processing and exportation based on Exit.al


10 – 14 April | European farming methods convention – Evora (PT)

12 April | Facing water and nutrient shortage in European agriculture: Lessons from the Horizon 2020 SolACE Project

13 April | Copa-Cogeca H2020 Workshop on R&I tasks

[Edited by Alice Taylor]

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