No postponement or adjustment for farm-to-table but 'not on the agenda'

Récolte de l'orge - moissoneuse batteuse

European officials deny that there would have been 'decided' within the EU to shelve two proposed legislation against pesticide use. And that for the Green Deal and farm-to-table it will not be 'from delay comes adjustment' at all. Officially, it is said that the two legislative texts are 'no longer on the short-term agenda'.

Only Agriculture Commissioner Janus Wojciechowski acknowledged on Wednesday that food security is now a top priority due to the Russian war in Ukraine. That is why not only the agricultural emergency fund is being opened up, but also (for now only this year!) the fallow obligation on about four million hectares is waived.

But Wojciechowski made it clear again that the entire European Commission, including himself, is sticking to the Green Deal and farm-to-fork vision for the future. He called the prevention of an emergency and the transition to a more sustainable agriculture something 'for the medium term', without specifying a year, to keep European food production afloat now.

The political debate on environmental and climate restrictions on agriculture is also being rekindled in the European Parliament. The European Parliament supports the agri-action package with its own resolution that was co-submitted by the Dutch PvdA member Mohammed Chahim.

He calls for not only to use wasteland, but also to combat food waste. About 88 million tons of food is wasted annually in the EU. 

“For the past month or so, the world has been turned upside down. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has many consequences, which we will also feel in Europe. We need to secure our own food supply, without compromising the Green Deal objectives, biodiversity and the farm-to-fork strategy,” said Chahim.

But the Christian Democratic EPP also wants to include a provision in the resolution, together with liberals, independents and the conservative ECR, to completely abandon a ban on chemicals in agriculture. Chahim warns 'that we should not abuse the war in Ukraine to put climate measures on hold'. If a center-right majority in the EP wants to do that, the PvdA members will still vote against the resolution, Chahim hinted.

SGP member Bert-Jan Ruissen is one of the Europoliticians who is pushing for the Green Deal to be postponed. He calls for a impact assessment in which the consequences of the war in Ukraine on food security are taken into account. "It would have been very inappropriate if the Commission had proposed today to take 10% from agricultural land out of production," Ruissen said when asked. 

GroenLinks MEP Bas Eickhout said earlier that he feared that the situation in Ukraine would be used to reverse the sustainability of agriculture. Moreover, according to him, the current crisis should be a lesson that European agriculture should become less dependent on imports of raw materials from non-EU countries.