Yesterday, the European Commission adopted a package of measures to address short-term concerns in relation to agri-food markets while maintaining the longer-term plans to make the EU food system sustainable.In response to the impacts of the war in Ukraine on EU agri-food markets , the European Commission announced yesterday a package of short-term mitigation measures, such as allowing the cultivation of farmland that is normally left to fallow for agronomic and environmental reasons. These measures are part of a wider communication on ‘Safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems’, in which the European Commission underlines its commitment to making the EU food system more sustainable and resilient.
Reacting to the communication, Jabier Ruiz, Senior Agriculture Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office, said: "The EU is severely dependent on imports of fossil fuels, feed and fertilisers, and the war in Ukraine has brought this to the highest political attention. The measures agreed by the Commission address the short-term impacts on agri-food markets but will not shift us away from this dependence. This can only be done with a longer-term transition to a more resilient and sustainable food system, and this is what the EU Farm to Fork Strategy aims to achieve. Producing food with fewer agrochemicals, reducing the enormous share of crops that are used to feed livestock, and using CAP subsidies appropriately to support farmers in this transition are the real way forward".
In the coming days and weeks, the EU needs to remain united in the implementation of the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy. The European Commission, in particular, must:
- Publish without further delay the Nature Protection Package, which includes the EU laws on nature restoration and sustainable use of pesticides
- Review national CAP strategic plans critically to ensure farm subsidies support farmers adopting more sustainable practices.