S&Ds: the EU Parliament wants to set up a strategy for the promotion of protein crops. It is now high time for the Commission to act

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The European Parliament has today approved, by an overwhelming majority, the Denanot report which underlines the agricultural, economic and environmental benefits of leguminous crops. The Parliament calls now on the Commission to finally come up with an adequate legislative proposal in the framework of the Reform of the Common Agriculture Policy post-2020 negotiations as vegetable proteins are closely linked to the transition from traditional practices to sustainable farming. The S&D Group urges the Commission to take into consideration the Parliament’s position and follow up the need stressed to increase our independence from third countries for our vegetable protein supply, to widen the self-sufficiency of European farms and to reduce, on the other hand, the need for synthetic nitrogenous fertilisers thanks to the potential of nitrogen-fixing plants.
 
The S&D rapporteur, Jean-Paul Denanot MEP, stated:
 
“By adopting the report by an overwhelming majority, the European Parliament has today sent a strong and very clear message to the Commission: new legislative measures in favour of vegetables’ proteins ‘made in Europe’ must be delivered with the greatest urgency and the proposals put forward in this report should be taken up in the next reform of the CAP. The EP’s message is of a special importance now, as most member states at the Council have already signed the EU Soya Declaration.
 
“The promotion of protein crops not only embodies the economic need to develop an effective vegetable supply plan. At stake here is the European citizens’ food safety and our duty to reduce one of the causes of the climate change linked to the exploitation of massive third countries’ protein crops production and exportations.
 
“The EU needs an effective vegetable supply plan which should focus on diversification, coupled support and the creation of an ecosystem payment, investing - with also additional funds for research - on the very large variety of crops cultivated throughout the Union, such as grain legumes (rape, sunflower and soya) and protein crops (peas, chickpeas, beans, lupins and field beans).
 
“Reducing the independence from third countries protein crops importations is also a must. We are dependent on third countries for importations of vegetable proteins, especially soya - mostly genetically modified - for 80% of our needs. This situation is no longer sustainable and all institutions need to work hand in hand to change it!”