Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue will call for close monitoring of fertiliser supplies at a meeting of EU agriculture ministers today (Monday, June 13).

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the minister argued that there was a need for close monitoring of the fertiliser situation, as supply chains continue to be disrupted by the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The recent European Council conclusions recognised that the supply of fertiliser presents a particular challenge over the coming period,” Minister McConalogue said.

“As the current crisis becomes more prolonged, we need to prepare now for 2023. I consider that, in terms of further actions the European Commission can take now, greater planning and preparation in relation to the supply of fertiliser is essential.

“Fertiliser affordability and availability is one of the biggest challenges facing our farmers at present,” he stressed.

Speaking as he arrived for the Council of the EU meeting in Luxembourg this morning, Minister McConalogue noted that today’s meeting would also discuss food production across the EU, and supporting “our friends in Ukraine at an immensely challenging time for them”.

The minister added: “We should ensure that global markets continue to function effectively, and that every effort continues to be made to facilitate Ukrainian exports.”

The meeting will also feature an exchange of views around the application of EU standards to imported agricultural and agri-food products.

The minister emphasised the need for EU collaboration with global partners, saying: “Any efforts to address these issues must be compatible with the EU’s international trade obligations and must be compatible [with the rules of the World Trade Organisation].”

He added that the Irish government supports the EU approach of including “robust sustainability chapters” in new bilateral free-trade agreements which “promote EU standards and has the effect of raising standards globally”.

The meeting will also discuss a commission proposal in relation to geographical indications for agri-food products, as well as the use of plant protection products in the context of a proposed regulation on sustainable use.