PES AGRI ministers: a sustainable and productive food system is a resilient and secure one

PES AGRI ministers: a sustainable and productive food system is a resilient and secure one

Meeting ahead of today’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council, progressives demanded support for Europe’s farmers so green agriculture and affordable food for citizens are delivered in tandem.

Chairing the PES ministerial meeting for the first time, Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Rasmus Prehn, said:

“Farmers are struggling due to high production input costs and the uncertainties caused by the war in Ukraine, notably on trade. We need to support them so they can weather the crisis and increase our resilience and reduce foreign dependence on imports of energy, fertilisers, and animal feed. Food production in the EU remains sufficient, but we need to pay close attention to questions such as affordability. High production costs mean high food prices. Low-income households are struggling to cope.

“These targeted, short-term, support measures can, and must, complement our climate and environmental goals. Food security and the resilience of our food systems are dependent on sustainable food production and distribution, not opposed to each other. It would be irresponsible to allow Putin’s war to undermine our longer-term plans for a sustainable Europe.”

Ministers expressed their full solidarity with the people of Ukraine and commended the bravery and resilience of those defending against the Russian invasion, including many farmers who are fighting during the day and working at night to provide food.

A more resilient European agricultural sector will be vital to ensure humanitarian support from Europe can continue flowing to Ukraine despite the significant cumulative disruption the invasion is causing to global agricultural, fisheries and aquaculture markets.

The meeting thanked outgoing Luxembourg Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, Romain Schneider, for his stewardship of the PES AGRI ministers’ meetings over previous years.

Rasmus Prehn, the new chair of the network, added:

“We thank Romain for his work in these ministerial meetings. Under his guidance, we finalised the CAP reform and made progress on many other important topics. I have seen first-hand in these meetings that he is a passionate supporter of our farming sector, both in Luxembourg and at the European level. We will miss his contributions, but wish him well for the future.”

The meeting was attended by:

  • Rasmus Prehn, Chair, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Denmark
  • Ivan Ivanov, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Bulgaria
  • Claude Haagen, Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, Luxembourg
  • Maria do Ceu Antunes, Minister of Agriculture, Portugal
  • Oskar Magnusson, State Secretary to the Minister for Rural Affairs Anna-Caren Sätherberg, Sweden