S&Ds call for a strategic plan to guarantee healthy and sustainable Protein Crops supply to make EU independent from third countries importations

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Health & Consumers
Independence from third countries Protein Crops importations, diversification of the supply farming system and incentives such as voluntary coupled support for a European sustainable agriculture and healthy diet; these are the three key topics that inspired the report Denanot - just approved with an overwhelming majority in the AGRI committee - on a European Strategy for promotion of Protein Crops. The whole dossier, to which the S&D Group attaches the highest importance, should be a pillar in the CAP post 2020 strategy as it is strictly linked to food safety on one hand and environmental and climatic challenges on the other.
 
The S&D rapporteur, Jean-Paul Denanot MEP, stated:
 
 “Nowadays, the EU is dependent on third countries for importations of vegetable proteins, especially soya - mostly genetically modified - for over the 90% of its needs. This is no longer sustainable, neither in terms of food security nor for the present and future climatic challenges. We absolutely need a strategic plan to speed up the transition towards a more sustainable farming system, reducing emissions linked to deforestation, and boosting biodiversity and the circular economy. This is especially urgent for the current uncertain geopolitical situation where China, the world’s largest importer of soya, is absorbing almost the total amount of the international production.
 
 “In order to reduce dependence on outside suppliers, it is necessary to focus on diversification, investing - also with additional funds for research - on the very large variety of crops extensively cultivated throughout the Union, such as grain legumes (rape, sunflower and soya) and protein crops (peas, chickpeas, beans, lupins and field beans). In fact, nitrogen-fixing plants allow farmers to use less fertilisers and present various environmental and economic benefits when they are integrated in the crop rotation.”