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EU transition to sustainable food production systems discussed in Brussels

Farmers in Cyprus facing difficult times due to rising costs of fuel, feed, fertilizers and a dip in tourism.

The EU ministries for agriculture met on Monday during the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels, to discuss problems faced by their member states. Topics addressed included the agricultural market, the European Green Deal, the Common Agricultural Policy and EU trade policy in relation to sustainability of food production.

Cyprus representative for the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Andreas Gregoriou, said in a statement that the increase in production costs, the pandemic and decrease in demand had created significant problems for food production in the EU. The problems faced by the agricultural market included the rise in costs of feed, fertilizers and energy, he said.

Gregoriou noted that Cypriot food producers and livestock farmers face additional problems due to the limited recovery of the tourism sector, as well as high transport costs. He informed the council of state aid plans that Cyprus has put in place to mitigate these problems and support the affected food producing sectors.

Gregoriou stated his support for aligning EU policies towards sustainability and common production standards. He also stressed the need for third countries to align with EU standards and comply with World Trade Organisation rules. “Strengthening labelling and promoting EU production methods can be tools for achieving the EU`s ambitious environmental, consumer protection and international trade policy objectives,” he said.

During an exchange of views on the Commission`s proposal for EU regulation on export and availability of products linked to deforestation, Gregoriou expressed Cyprus’ support for the proposal, adding that the priority is “the protection of old and primary forests that maintain high carbon stocks and have a multi-functional role for the environment.” He also spoke of the importance of adopting effective measures to address phenomena such as drought and fires.

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