Latvia is asking the European Commission to assess repeatedly Green Deal strategy impact on provision of food

Latvia is asking the European Commission to assess repeatedly Green Deal strategy impact on provision of food

Tuesday May 24, in Brussels, Raivis Kronnbergs, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture participated in the meeting of the Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries, where Member States discussed the situation on agricultural market, taking account of the current situation after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

 

Latvia supports the aid measures, approved by the COM until now, focused on overcoming of the crisis situation and appreciates the permit to use fallows for food and fodder production. However, COM should assess the impact of Green Deal strategy on provision of food. Taking account of the current situation, a new impact assessment is necessary for achievement of Green Deal objectives.

 

The European Commission (COM) informed that increase in costs of energy and fertilizers, that took place already before the warfare, initiated by Russia, has increased prices of agricultural products. Although provision of food in the EU is not endangered, invasion of Ukraine reveals dependency of the EU food system on imports of energy, fertilizers and fodder. All this increased the costs of production and influenced prices of food, raising concerns about purchasing power of inhabitants and producers’ income.

 

To stabilize the situation, COM will allocate EUR 500 million for the most affected farmers and by the end of the current year will allow to increase advance payment of direct payments as well as a new independent temporary crisis framework will be applied to the State aid, and in 2022 will agree to introduce derogations from some greening measures to allow for cultivation of additional agricultural land.

 

Currently, in Latvia, increase in prices of all the products of animal production sector is being observed still, it is not able to compensate increase in costs of forage grain, power, natural gas, diesel and mineral fertilizers.  The war in Ukraine has particularly influenced prices of fodder grain. As compared with the previous year, fodder wheat has increased even by 59%, fodder barley – by 78%, fodder oats – by 95% but fodder rye even by 144%. Therefore, Latvia asks COM to foresee some more derogations from conditions, limiting food and forage production until the geopolitical situation resolves. 

 

In addition to the discussion on the situation on agricultural market, Member States discussed the proposal by Germany to reduce the use of peat in horticulture and forestry. Latvia pointed out that peat is a very important and currently irreplaceable raw material in agriculture and forestry, particularly in growing of seedlings and provision of food. Although majority of Member States acknowledged the need to look for possible alternatives to peat, it has been emphasized that the research carried out until now has not found alternatives that would be equally qualitative, extensively and financially accessible for all agricultural producers. Janusz Wojciechowski, the Commissioner, also explained the necessity to be careful, and selection of alternatives to peat must be preceded by a comprehensive impact assessment where different aspects have been taken into account, incl. environmental impact, effectiveness, financial aspects, etc. In the context of this question, COM in its further activities will pay a particular attention to provision of food.
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Information prepared:
Rūta Rudzīte, 
Public relations specialist
Telephone: +371 67027498 
E-mail: ruta.rudzite@zm.gov.lv 
Website: www.zm.gov.lv  

  • Published:
    31.05.2022