EU agriculture ministers gathered in Prague for their informal agricultural council agree that food sustainability and food security are two priorities.
This reflected the war in Ukraine, climate change and the residual impact of Covid.
Ministers called for a focus on science and innovation, citing new plant breeding techniques, sustainable increases in productivity and precision farming techniques, and stressed that the European Commission and Member States members needed to abandon skepticism of science, not hinder innovation.
It looks like the EU is about to pass laws on gene-editing techniques regarding sustainability, drought resistance, and less reliance on pesticides and fertilizers.
Rain too late for summer crops
Meanwhile, the latest cereal news data from the commission confirms that the rains have come too late across Europe to save yields of many summer crops. As a result, his latest Joint Research Council (JRC) bulletin confirms, yields of all summer crops were below the five-year average.
This echoes the comments of Copa agricultural lobbyists.
The experts of the @COPACOGECA working group met in Brussels this week and confirmed the first trend announced in July:
the total 🇪🇺 #cereal production is expected to reach 2⃣6⃣9⃣ million tonnes, registering a significant drop of 🔻6.8% compared to the 2021 harvest.
— COPA-COGECA (@COPACOGECA) September 9, 2022
The drought was most severe in southern Europe, with conditions delaying preparations for sowing in Spain. The JRC says conditions are “mostly favourable” for planting winter crops, thanks to the August rains, but again with some differences between states.
A report has confirmed the intensification of global corporate ownership in the agricultural industry.
Growing dominance of Chinese companies
He comes from ETC, which describes itself as an eco-justice organization. It indicates that two companies control 40% of the commercial seed market. It was 10 companies 25 years ago. On the trading side, the group claims that in 2020, only 10 commodity traders dominated the global market for agricultural and food products. He says that these traders, through market dominance, enjoyed increased profits.
ETC’s report also reveals the growing dominance of Chinese commodity trading companies. He says state-owned Chinese trader Cofco is now second only to Cargill in terms of sales.
The report cites many well-known agricultural supply companies that are majority or minority owned by Chinese companies. It also presents examples of companies in the Middle East taking strategic stakes in several agricultural companies as part of a policy of protecting sources of supply, and warns that this dominance of a small number of companies creates concerns at a time of rising food costs, uncertainty and climate change. .
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[Food sustainability and security priorities for agriculture ministers]