European Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowski will present proposals for a European fertilizer strategy this month. In a debate in Strasbourg on Thursday, he did not release details, but said his proposal will "cover both the EU internal and international dimension, as well as the food security and environmental aspect".
The Dutch MEP Jan Huitema (VVD, Renew Europe) reminded Wojciechowski of earlier commitments about allowing new, non-chemical agricultural products. 'It is high time the European Commission looked at alternatives to fertilizers to make agriculture more circular'.
He pointed out that fertilizer is essential for food production. At the same time, it is one of the largest emitters of CO2. According to Huitema, the key lies in the manure cycle, in which animal manure in dried form is made suitable as a growth promoter.
The Flemish MEP Tom Vandenkdelaere (CD&V) also referred to the earlier plea of 19 EU politicians who asked for the EU rules to be relaxed so that 'menure in nature' becomes possible. European Commissioner Wojciechowski did not make any promises, but stated 'that the use of animal manure will play an important role'.
It is not yet clear whether the European Commission will comply with the earlier Franco-Spanish plea for a European fertilizer industry of its own, to stop being dependent on Russian imports. Wojciechowski did say that "European industry can be made less dependent on the outside world, but farmers can also become less dependent on fertilizers."
Due to the Western sanctions against the Russian war in Ukraine (gas and oil boycott), many fertilizer industries have been forced to stop their gas-fired production. This will soon also have consequences for the final prices of foodstuffs. The Norwegian fertilizer factory Yara yesterday also called on the European Union to quickly take matters into its own hands.
Wojciechowski warned that a safe food supply in Europe cannot be based on importing necessary mineral fertilizers. Above all, the high dependence on mineral fertilizers from Russia and Belarus is a thorn in the side of the European Commission.