Agricultural organizations and cooperatives have expressed their concern about the objectives of the "From farm to fork" strategy presented this Wednesday by the European Commission (EC), considering that it will increase their production costs without the appropriate incentives or financial support.
Brussels is proposing a transition towards more sustainable food production, with measures such as a reduction in the use of plant protection products and fertilizers or proposals to substitute meat for other proteins.
"There is concern that the EC opens the debate with very ambitious environmental objectives, without taking into account the lack of profitability of a sector that has proven to be basic in the supply of food," while society has been confined by the pandemic, he said. Agro-food cooperatives in a statement.
The cooperatives have requested "structural impulse measures that serve to put the imbalance in the food chain on track where the producer is the weakest link and the first to suffer."
They have asked to study the loss of competitiveness of a demanding European model against imported products obtained under less restrictive conditions, and have called for objectives based on "scientific evidence" and not on ideological arguments.
Asaja has regretted, in a press release, that the EC presents environmental strategies "that deal a severe blow" to agriculture, because "they question food security", according to a statement.
"Severe limitations are imposed" on the use of plant protection products, fertilizers and antibiotics, "depriving" farmers of "essential" tools to guarantee the health of animals and crops, he stressed.
COAG has rejected "the hypocrisy of the EU's showcase policies" because the strategy requires more commitments from farmers, with increased production costs, "without reinforcing the budget of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) or questioning the treaties commercials, ”according to a statement.
He maintains that producers "must be protagonists in the fight against climate change and lead the commitment to a sustainable model", but for this the EU must establish the principle of food sovereignty and condition imports to the quality and animal welfare standards that already fulfills the European field.
The Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers has pointed out that the strategy has "lights and shadows", since among its positive aspects "it puts farmers and ranchers at the center as protagonists" of the chain and proposes the promotion of short marketing channels, fair trade and transparent labeling.
But UPA sees "inconsistencies" and negative points, such as the reduction of plant protection products and antibiotics "without giving alternatives to those affected" and the idea of promoting less meat production.
Union of Farmers and Ranchers Unions called for the strategy to be postponed until the impact of the pandemic was known.
The Business Association for the Protection of Plants (Aepla) -a patron saint of phytosanitary manufacturers- considers it "wrong" to focus on the inputs that guarantee production efficiency since, in his opinion, "competitive agriculture is not at odds to be responsible with the environment. "
"A less phytosanitary protection would mean a greater occupation of land for the same production," said from Aepla, who believes that the plant health sector should be one more partner to seek solutions for agriculture, which faces new pests every day