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S&Ds: Russia’s war on Ukraine shows we need a more resilient EU food system without lowering quality or health safety standards


24 Mar 2022


Agriculture & Food

Following the criminal Russian invasion against Ukraine, the need for an urgent EU action plan to ensure food security inside and outside the EU has become even more evident. We welcome today's vote by the EU Parliament that goes in this direction and call on the EU Commission to reinforce our food chain system without lowering quality or health safety standards.

S&D coordinator in the agriculture committee, Clara Aguilera MEP, commented:

“The Socialists and Democrats have struck the right balance between defending the fight against climate change and the European Green Deal. It now has the necessary flexibility in measures for the agri-food sectors to respond to a crisis such as the one caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In order to address the serious difficulties and high production costs faced by farmers, stockbreeders, fishermen and aquaculture producers, we need to ensure there is flexibility in measures concerning agriculture and fisheries. We therefore welcome the balanced outcome of this resolution and call for swift action to be taken to resolve supplies for people and animals, both at European and international level. This is essential to tackle the problem of a global food crisis that may result from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

S&D vice-president responsible for the Green Deal, Mohammed Chahim MEP, said:

“As with fossil-based energy, Europe cannot be dependent on one major, unreliable, source. The reckless Russian aggression against Ukraine, the consequent European sanctions and the negative repercussions we are now suffering throughout the whole EU food chain system clearly show the urgent need to shape a more resilient Europe protected from external shocks. Pursuing the objectives of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategy within the European Green Deal is the way forward by reducing the environmental and climate footprint of the EU food system, ensuring food security in the face of climate change and biodiversity loss, and by leading a global transition towards competitive sustainability. We were therefore appalled by the EPP attempting to use this crisis to undermine and delay the European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity Strategy.

“Food security, however, must be directly bound to food safety, as we cannot lower our health or quality standards and risk, in the mid and long-term perspective, exchanging one crisis for another.

“In our food system, we should gradually but surely reduce our dependency on fossil-based energy. Taking into account that livestock account for nearly 80% of our global agricultural land while producing less than 20% of the world’s supply of calories, we should also aim at using agricultural land as efficiently as possible, including a prudent approach when it comes to biofuels.

“Hence, the upcoming legislative proposal for a sustainable food system is now more pertinent than ever, as well as the forthcoming Commission proposals revising EU legislation on pesticides and the future proposal on nature restoration.”