Debate hears advantages, but also pitfalls of sustainability

Engineer try to save environment by pulling a banner of new green city

Portorož – A summit of agricultural and food companies is being held in Portorož on Wednesday, focusing on sustainability. A round table debate as part of the event noted the risks and hazards brought be the green transformation, and restrictive environmental legislation at the EU and national levels that may bring opposite effects.

The participants agreed that the sustainability aspect was important and that it needed to be promoted, while highlighting certain risks.

Silvan Peršolja of the winemaker Kleti Brda said that care for sustainability was not questionable, and that the greater concern was whether the path towards sustainability will become overly bureaucratised.

Tomaž Žnidarič, the director of the dairy Ljubljanske Mlekarne said that environmental legislation was overly restrictive both at the EU and national level, which could have the opposite effect.

He noted a directive under which all caps will have to stick to the packaging as of 2024, and that his company would have to spend more than EUR 2 million to adjust its production to the requirement, and would also produce more plastic.

The bread and pasta maker Mlinotest is already working on the green transformation, as it is mid-way into the largest investment cycle in recent years, which will reduce energy consumption and emissions, said director Danilo Kobal.

Agriculture Minister Irena Šinko noted the importance of safe and quality food, especially in light of the rising prices of energy and raw materials, which also affect the stability of the food supply chain.

Šinko said that first steps to stabilise the situation had already been taken. “The government is already in talks with retailers on possible measures that could mitigate the too rapid rises in retail prices,” she was quoted by the ministry.

The minister announced that she would promote local food supply chains on the basis of long-term contracts that would ensure the stability of all links in the chain and food security in Slovenia.