The European Commission recognises the role of EU agriculture production in global food security, the representative body of European farmers and agri-cooperatives, Copa-Cogeca has said.

Following the Versailles Declaration, the European Commission presented a first set of measures on food security and the resilience of food systems yesterday (Wednesday, March 23).

Copa-Cogeca welcomed the emergency support of €330 million granted to the population of Ukraine and a €500 million support package for EU farmers.

Copa-Cogeca said it shares the commission’s objective to increase sustainability of EU agriculture while ensuring its production capacity, and welcomed the mobilisation of fallow land so that it can be cultivated this spring sowing season.

However, the group added, the lack of short-term proposals to relieve tensions on the fertiliser market is regrettable and needs to be addressed by the European Food Security Crisis preparedness and response Mechanism (EFSCM).

President of Copa, Christiane Lambert commented:

“The accumulation of crises also shows us that we need to seriously address our dependencies on fertilisers, animal feed and fossil fuels. The options and solutions exist in agriculture to show that we can reconcile productivity and sustainability.”

In the medium term, she added, facilitating the market placement of biological plant protection products, the increase in EU protein plants and renewable energies and biogas would allow higher production while ensuring greater sustainability and independence.

However, Copa-Cogeca added that investment mechanisms that can help stimulate more sustainable agricultural production and improve the resilience of the sector need to be more detailed.

President of Cogeca, Ramon Armengol said that European agri-cooperatives will be key players in the coming months, providing food not only in the EU, but to third countries. He explained:

“It is essential in the short term to ensure liquidity to farmers and their cooperatives as input costs are raising sharply even further. Concrete actions from member states for the agri-food sector in the context of the new state aid framework are still needed.”