Consumers should have the choice of healthy foods produced in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible way, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said on Saturday.

Speaking at the second Lidl Wellness Camp in Argos on the occasion of World Food Day, the minister said the event “reminds us of the vulnerable state of agri-food systems” while it also puts the focus on more “sustainable ways of producing, disposing and consuming food”.

The government supports “in all possible ways” the agriculture sector which safely provides most of the food we consume, Kadis said.

Recently, the state made efforts towards the restructuring of the agricultural insurance institution, legislation to combat unfair commercial practices, encouragement for the creation of producer groups, promotion of the uniqueness of Cypriot products with the introduction of the Cypriot brand among others, the minister said.

At European Union level, the Farm to Fork Strategy, which is part of the Green Deal and in line with the United Nations sustainable development goals, “aims to make our food system more sustainable, equitable, healthy and environmentally friendly, starting from the farmer’s farm and reaching the consumer’s plate” he added.

According to Kadis, the objectives of this strategy are a priority for the agriculture ministry, to maintain the production of safe and healthy food, by reducing, as far as possible, the inflow of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics into the food chain and environment.

“The consumer should have the opportunity to choose healthy foods that are produced in an environmentally sound, socially responsible and fair way and contribute to the effort to reduce waste and food loss,” Kadis said.

The minister congratulated Lidl Cyprus, which has adopted a specific sustainability policy, with the availability of certified products and compliance with the limits set by law in relation to their safety, and has set quantitative targets aiming at reducing the environmental footprint of these products.