Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister: ability of the agricultural sector to ensure national self-sufficiency in food to full extent is the vitally important condition for existence of every State

Tuesday September 1, in Koblenz (Germany,) the informal meeting of the EU Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries was held, there Ministers from Member States, in presence and distantly, discussed the lessons learned during the crisis, caused by Covid-19 pandemia – sustainability of agriculture and food industry. The Ministers discussed what priorities should be laid down to ensure that the EU is better prepared and capable of responding in case a similar global crisis emerge in future.

Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture: “Self-sufficiency in food as well as the developed sector of agriculture and food industry is the vitally important basic elements for existence of every State. The crisis demonstrated this very clearly. Therefore, in such and similar crisis situations the EU economy must be able to satisfy the basic needs of its inhabitants, and the need for food and water is one of the vital ones. Besides, efforts must be made at the EU level to lessen the EU dependence on imported food and feed thus, strengthening the independence of food supplies and making food supply chains shorter.”

To ensure that in crisis situations, the EU economy is capable of satisfying the basic needs of its inhabitants, it is necessary to strengthen the independence of food supply chains both at the EU and national level and to ensure an uninterrupted operation of food supply chains by envisaging different additional support measures for short-term and long-term crisis situations, emphasized Kaspars Gerhards, addressing his EU colleagues distantly through a videocall. 

The Minister offered his vision to the EU Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries on how in crisis situations, the EU economies would become more capable of providing their inhabitants with the necessary food: first of all, the shorter supply chains must be developed; secondly, a purposeful joint work of researchers and producers is very important toward extending shelf-life of foodstuffs; thirdly, support mechanisms must be found to facilitate building up of reserves of raw materials and production resources at enterprises  that would ensure uninterrupted operation of food enterprises; fourthly, to assess the current resilience of the EU food system and to develop an emergency action plan for food supplies and provision that would be implemented in crisis situations.

Information prepared by: Dagnija Muceniece,
Head of the Press and Public Relations Division
telephone: 67027070; mob.: 26534104
email: Dagnija.Muceniece@zm.gov.lv

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