Presidency trio presents agriculture programme
Presenting the programme to the press on the sidelines of an informal agriculture ministerial in Brussels, German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner announced constructive and intensive cooperation among the three countries.
Presenting the four main points, Klöckner listed food production resilient to crises, such as the one the EU is facing during the coronavirus pandemic, meaning that food production chains must be able to provide food under any circumstances.
The second pillar is the economic sustainability of agricultural production. A smart connection must be made between the EU's agricultural and environmental strategies, said Klöckner, adding that farmers should not be faced with environmental demands to an overwhelming degree, preventing them to live off their work.
Help must be provided to farmers to allow them to be competitive while meeting environmental standards, said Klöckner.
The third pillar entails introduction of digital solutions for agriculture, cautious management of natural resources in agriculture, making farming more attractive for young generations and reduction of pesticide and herbicide use.
The fourth pillar is dedicated to creating measures to provide clear and credible information for consumers, raising awareness about food sourcing, the importance of locally-grown food and a single EU designation proving animal well-being.
Slovenia's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Aleksandra Pivec also addressed the press alongside Klöckner and her Portuguese counterpart Maria do Ceu Albuquerque.
She said the trio was starting off in a demanding situation and that agriculture proved to be one of the key strategic sectors during the coronacrisis.
The informal ministerial, the first held in person since the coronavirus pandemic reached Europe, focused on the from-farm-to-fork approach to food production and discussed the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Pivec expressed belief in the debate that the EU needs to start a transition to provide safe and good quality food accessible to everybody, while the agriculture sector must use natural resources with respect, Slovenia's Agriculture Ministry said in a press release.
"Sustainable food production must be seen as superior and an opportunity to recognise high quality products," she said, adding that this will not only reduce the sector's carbon footprint but also build a social balance in the sector.
The agriculture ministers also discussed CAP reform pertaining to green architecture and a new implementation model. It is key for Slovenia that the drafting continues as soon as possible, which is important for the drafting of relevant documents at national levels.
The ministry also said it was key that the EU's multi-year budget is adopted as soon as possible, so that the reformed CAP will be implemented as soon as possible.