Opinion

Letter to the editor: ‘EU wants a stagnant farming industry and a stagnant economy’

Sadly, the EU wants a stagnant farming industry and also a stagnant economy. These goals will be achieved under the guise of climate change, where they will waste 1 trillion euros to achieve [it].

At the same time as they are signalling – in a virtually way – the economies of Italy, Spain and Greece might even collapse.

That is not to say that we, as farmers, don’t have a huge role in reducing environmental damage and protecting our wildlife. Unfortunately, nobody ever asks our opinion on how this might be achieved. The sheer arrogance and ignorance of the Brussels ‘dining set’ is breathtaking.

From Rupert Pollock, a full-time beef/sheep farmer

Farm to Fork Strategy

This letter comes on the back of the recently-announced Farm to Fork Strategy from the European Commission – last month, on Wednesday, May 20.

The targets that were laid down were as follows.

  • A reduction by 50% of the use and risk of chemical pesticides and the use of more hazardous pesticides by 50% by 2030;
  • A reduction of nutrient losses by at least 50% while ensuring that there is no deterioration in soil fertility. This will reduce the use of fertilisers by at least 20% by 2030;
  • A reduction by 50% of the sales of antimicrobials for farmed animals and in aquaculture by 2030; and
  • Reaching 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030.

In response to questions laid down about how these targets will be achieved, the European Commission gave a breakdown based on the targets that they laid out.

Also Read: Farm to Fork Strategy: How will targets be achieved?

In regards to fertiliser and soil nutrients, it was noted that member states will have to take ambitious and far-reaching measures to fully implement existing legislation on nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorous) pollution, in order to avoid the associated nutrient leakages that pollute the air and water becoming harmful to human health and the environment.

The commission will develop with member states an integrated nutrient management action plan to reduce and prevent further pollution from excessive use of fertilisers and to foster the recycling of nutrients from different kinds of organic waste as fertilisers.

This will contribute to deliver the “zero pollution ambition” of the EU Green Deal, the authority said.