EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council of Ministers

Planas: "Security of food supply must be our priority at this time"

News - 24.5.2022

Luis Planas, stated that securing food supplies must be the priority at this time, framed by the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has led to a rise in the price of raw materials and supply difficulties in the markets that are most reliant on these two countries. The minister called for cooperation and multilateralism to overcome the crisis.

Luis Planas today took part in the Council of EU Agriculture Ministers that, as a central issue, discussed the situation of agricultural markets in the context of the food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, with references to the recent G7 meeting on the same subject. An item was also discussed concerning the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which will take place in June in Geneva, and which will address the international trade aspects arising from the crisis in Ukraine.

The minister stressed the need for the Member States and the European Commission to jointly implement all measures within their reach, especially through multilateral cooperation mechanisms, to prevent the imposition of unilateral measures to limit or ban exports of raw materials and food products, with a special emphasis on the disproportionate use of strategic reserves by some countries. The minister also highlighted the need to ensure the availability of fertilisers, improve their use and to look for alternative sources to prevent a lack of fertilisers from causing a drop in production at the time when they are most needed. He also referred to the need to facilitate food purchases by the World Food Programme.

The minister thanked the European Commission for the measures adopted in the framework of this crisis, through which it has been possible to provide Spain with an aid package for the most affected sectors with a budget of 362 million euros. He also welcomed the recent decision that will allow up to 5% of the 2021-2022 amounts of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to be used to grant aid to the sectors and producers most affected by the consequences of the war in Ukraine.

Cold treatment

The minister has explained the phytosanitary risk that certain citrus imports entail for the main citrus-producing regions of the EU. In this sense, he has asked the European Commission to apply the cold treatment protocol to citrus shipments from areas where certain pests have been detected, in accordance with the recommendations of the European Food Safety Agency. The minister thanked the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, for her commitment to present a proposal to the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) convened for this purpose on Wednesday.

Other issues discussed during the Council of Ministers included the debate on strategic approaches to combat bird flu, the future of soil protection and the use of peat in substrates for horticultural products, among others.

Non official translation