20 May 2020
The European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) is disappointed by the European Commission’s proposed radical changes to the EU's food production policy until 2030.
After today’s announcement of the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy, ECRvCoordinator in the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee Zbigniew Kuźmiuk said:
“I sincerely regret and am concerned for Europe’s farmers that the European Commission chose the moment of the Covid-19 crisis to push through over-ambitious reforms. We should be prioritising the recovery and concentrating on the stability of our farmers amidst this historic and catastrophic economic crisis. The viability and competitiveness of our agri-food sector is of utmost importance in the changing of the global order.
“The new requirements such as a reduction of pesticides by 50 per cent will impose heavy burdens on farmers. I hope, that in future negotiations we can ensure that farmers will get all the necessary resources to provide food security for our citizens. We have strong reservations about how this would work in practice.”
Hermann Tertsch, ECR Shadow rapporteur for the Farm to Fork Strategy in the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safe, said:
“The reduction of pesticides without alternatives, the new rules on animal welfare and the artificial increase of environmental obligations weaken the position of our farmers and livestock producers and put our food security at risk.
“The Commission is missing a great opportunity to address the current crisis in the agriculture sector. Sustainability can only be achieved if our farmers receive a proper income. Additional environmental rules and bureaucracy will further advance the desertification of rural areas.”
The European Commission’s Farm to Fork strategy is the agriculture and food section of the Green Deal. Ahead of its publication, the ECR MEPs had asked the Commission to postpone the strategy until the Covid-19 crisis was over.
The ECR Group also requested that any announcement regarding the objective to harmonise the nutrition labelling systems be based on rigorous scientific analysis. This must not lead to misleading over-simplifications such as Nutriscore, which would discriminate products without properly informing consumers of their nutritional value and the importance of a varied and balanced diet.
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