Agrifood news from around Europe
Around 778 tonnes of non-compliant or suspect phytosanitary products from India and China have been seized in Antwerp by the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC). EURACTIV’s partner le Journal de l’environnement reports.
(Natasha Foote | EURACTIV.com)
The European Union signed a free trade agreement with Mexico on Tuesday (28 April), which provoked a strong reaction from France’s farming community. EURACTIV’s partner Ouest-France reports.
The Croatian Agriculture Ministry has launched an online web platform Tržnica.hr, which offers farm produce from all over the country, the ministry said on Monday (4 April). The platform has been launched to help farmers and fishermen with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more. (Karla Juničić | EURACTIV.hr)
Romania’s agriculture minister said an evaluation of the effects of drought on the country’s agricultural sector will be finalised in the coming days, but preliminary data shows up to 1.2 million hectares could be severely affected by the lack of rain. Read more here. (Bogdan Neagu | EURACTIV.ro)
As shoppers try to reduce their trips out of the house amid the coronavirus outbreak, weekly sales of veg boxes in the UK have more than doubled. According to new data from the independent think tank, the Food Foundation, sales increased by 111% in the six weeks from the end of February to mid-April. (Natasha Foote | EURACTIV.com)
Proposals to cut the national agriculture herd to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was a “lazy narrative” based on “flawed” calculations, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said according to the Irish Times. The farmers’ group criticised the comments from Robert Watt, Department of Public Expenditure secretary-general, who suggested that the national herd should be cut by up to 5% as part of the government’s climate action plan. (Natasha Foote | EURACTIV.com)
After the green light from the Commission on private storage aid (PSA), the Ministry of Agriculture will allow cheese producers to store up to a maximum of 12,654 tons and will be able to submit requests for aid from 7 May to 30 June. The provision will concern cheeses with a geographical indication, as well as generic cheeses and curds. (Gerardo Fortuna | EURACTIV.com)
German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner’s appearance on a German cooking show on Bild TV last weekend has caused a stir, as the show was sponsored by the supermarket chain Kaufland. Klöckner has since claimed that she was unaware of the sponsorship, but politicians across the political spectrum have been quick to criticise her and question this. (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)
Europe should not rush reforms to its agricultural strategies, Austrian MEP Simona Schmiedtbauer warned in a letter cosigned by members of the conservative ÖVP party. “Long-term planning and legal certainty are the urgently needed foundations for a well-functioning, sustainable agriculture and forestry. Especially in times of crisis, it is therefore a priority to maintain these foundations and thus ensure a comprehensive, high-quality food supply,” she emphasised. (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)
From the end of April, Ukrainian citizens will be eligible to receive Polish employee visas, according to the Polish Press Agency (PAP). At the same time, as part of the third anti-crisis law, which is currently awaiting approval by the Senate and the signature of the president, the government confirmed that farmers will not have to apply for temporary residence for seasonal workers. (Mateusz Kucharczyk| EURACTIV.pl)