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Baltic farmers in action for an environmentally-friendly and competitive agriculture

Date

10 Jun 2009

Sections

Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

Farmer organisations from Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark welcome the draft Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, published by the European Commission today. The organisations will take the lead in concrete flagship projects to improve the environmental impact of farming in the Baltic Sea Region.

Agriculture, forestry and food production are central for the economy, employment, rural development and environment in the Baltic Sea region. A strong region with an improved integration of the economy and with a deepening of the implementation of EU regulation, as outlined in the Commission draft Strategy for the Baltic Sea region, will benefit agriculture and forestry as well as consumers.
Farmers in the Baltic Sea Region want to continue to take responsibility for the environment, while at the same time meeting the demand for food, energy and other products from agriculture and forestry.

In the action plan under the draft Strategy Plan for the Baltic Sea Region, the farming sector is the only sector that is being proposed to take the lead on concrete projects. We interpret this as a sign of trust in our sector. It gives us an opportunity to further demonstrate that an effective and high quality food production at affordable prices for consumers can go hand in hand with environmental responsibility.

The farmer organisations in the region will seek funding for a project with the aim to disseminate knowledge on best environmental practices to farmers in the Baltic area. In some regions, existing farmer lead campaigns to put best environmental practices into work have already led to a 35% reduction of nutrient leaching from agriculture, without reducing the food production. The aim is to spread these positive results to whole Baltic Sea Region.

The European Commission further proposes to create a Forum for Inventive and Sustainable Manure Processing. This is extremely positive. Modern technology enables us to utilize manure from animal husbandry as an energy resource as well as fertilizer, in a way that benefits both the climate and the environment. The Danish Innovation Centre for Bioenergy and Environmental Technology (CBMI) and the Finnish Agrifood Research, Technology research and Environmental research (MTT) are going to coordinate this part of the Commission Action Plan.

Signatories:

Estonian Farmers Organisations and Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce, Tallinn
Latvian Agricultural Organisations, Riga
Lithuanian Agricultural Organisations, Kaunas
German Farmers’ Union (DBV), Berlin
German Raiffeisen Association (DRV), Berlin
Danish Agricultural Council, Copenhagen
Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF), Stockholm
Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners, Helsinki Confederation of Finnish Cooperatives, Helsinki
Copa-Cogeca, European farmers – European Agri Co-Operatives

To read teh PDF file, please click here: http://www.copa-cogeca.eu/Download.ashx?ID=523694&fmt=pdf

For further information, please contact:

Jacob Bagge Hansen, Danish Agriculture and Food Council,
Telephone: +32 2 230 27 05, E-Mail: jbh@agridan.be

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