Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister: Adequate funding is necessary for EU objectives in agricultural, food, innovations and nature management areas

On June 13 – 15, Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister, participated in an informal Council meeting of the EU Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries in Lisbon, Portugal, where Member States discussed the subject of difficulties created by various problems currently incurred by the management of food systems, proposed by Portugal, currently holding Presidency of the EU Council. Climate changes, globalization of trade, transition to new technologies, increasing complexity of supply chains, changes in customers’ preferences, demographic changes and the need to protect nature resources are only few of these challenges.  

Policy makers must think how to ensure a wholesome food for the growing population of the world and fair income for farmers as well as how to conserve a sustainable environment for next generations. These three aspects can come into mutual conflict however, at the same time, their interrelation is also showing here, for example, food producers receive a higher support for application of environmentally friendly methods.

Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister, emphasized at the Council meeting: “Developing a better food system policy, differences of opinions must be overcome, and a balance must be found among differing interests and values. This can be achieved by using inclusive policy processes, when all the involved parties are being heard, at the same time avoiding preferential treatment of somebody’s particular interests. Just as a due attention must be paid to granting of an adequate funding to achieve the diverse EU-level objectives in agricultural, food, innovations and nature management areas. Currently, the major source of the EU-level financing for achievement of these objectives is the Common Agricultural Policy, which is insufficient to achieve these objectives. The crisis caused by Covid-19 pandemic clearly showed that sufficient food provision and the developed agriculture and food industry is a vitally important basic element for existence of each country. Therefore, it is particularly important to continue working at the development of shorter supply chains.”

The totality of problems outlined by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is becoming more and more complicated. Latvia agrees that CAP is an example of a multifunctional policy, providing support to both food safety and availability, income and ensuring of viability of rural territories as well as the environmental protection, taking account of specific situation and needs of each Member State. However, the latest negotiations and agreements, reached by now in CAP trialogues, unfortunately are moving in the opposite direction and reducing the flexibility provided for Member States regarding determination and management of policy instruments thus, lessening abilities to implement CAP according to specific situation and needs of each Member State.

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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