Spreading fears of meals shortages is “irresponsible and dishonest”, in accordance with European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who accused critics of utilizing the conflict as a “pretext” to derail the EU’s inexperienced farming ambitions.
Between hovering fertiliser costs and commerce disruptions, the conflict in Ukraine has pushed the agrifood sector into disarray, sparking considerations about meals safety each within the bloc and elsewhere on the planet.
But this worry is unfounded, in accordance with the vice-president.
“It’s quite something that some people pretend that we have a risk of food shortages in the EU, which is not the case”, he stated throughout a gathering of the European Parliament’s setting committee assembly on Thursday (28 April), including that scaring folks into believing there are meals safety issues in Europe is “irresponsible and so incredibly dishonest.”
While Timmermans acknowledged that the conflict in Ukraine had prompted critical issues within the wheat and maise markets, he stated it is a “logistics and finance problem, not a problem of the availability of food”.
“Our citizens are already terribly worried about so many things. Let’s not add to their anxieties with false problems meant to safeguard a position in certain economic sectors,” he concluded.
While there’s a want to make sure there’s sufficient meals to go round, particularly in susceptible areas of Africa, he identified that there was an excellent crop of wheat and maise each within the winter, and prospects look equally longing for the summer season crop.
His phrases echo a latest Commission communication on meals safety revealed again in March, which concluded that there isn’t a danger of meals shortages within the EU.
However, that has not stopped the EU government from leaping to extend manufacturing. EU agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski just lately stated it’s “simply prudent that we support our farmers to produce more food while they can.”
This consists of quickly lifting environmental measures to maximise the agricultural floor space out there for manufacturing, a transfer that has been lauded by farmers however lambasted by environmental marketing campaign teams.
War used as a ‘pretext’
The commissioner additionally went one step additional, accusing these against the EU’s inexperienced farming ambitions of utilizing the conflict as a pretext to push their very own agenda.
“Those who did not like EU Farm to Fork strategy to start with use the war in Ukraine as a pretext to try and stop it from happening,” he said, referring to the EU’s flagship meals and farming coverage.
Comparing the agrifood sector to that of vitality, Timmermans identified that whereas the conflict has elevated the impetus on the vitality transition, it has had the other impact on sustainable ambitions for the agricultural sector – however it is a highway that the EU “should not go down,” he warned.
“If we don’t understand that the Farm to Fork is an attempt to save agriculture, not punish it, in light of the devastating effects of biodiversity loss and climate change on food production globally, we are really in a wrong attitude,” he stated, calling on MEPs within the setting committee to behave as an “ally to keep the Farm to Fork on the tracks”.
[Edited by Alice Taylor]