The move comes after the situation was discussed in Copa and Cogecas cereals and oilseeds working parties.
Chairman of Copa and Cogecas’ Cereal Working Party Max Schulman said “This year’s EU cereals harvest is expected to be up 0.4% this year on last year’s levels , reaching 297 million tonnes. But many countries have experienced extreme weather conditions ranging from frost and drought this year, with Spain and Portugal not seeing rain for several months whilst Ireland and the Baltics have been hit by severe rain and floods. The variable conditions will impact on the quality of EU production. We are particularly concerned about the quality of the crops in Northern countries – Sweden and Finland - as the harvest has still not finished due to the heavy rain. Producers are also continuing to be squeezed by low prices and high production costs”.
“On top of the challenge of climate change, producers have serious concerns about the phasing out of many plant protection products (PPPs) and the ban on the use of PPPs and fertilizers on Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) which will result in a shift towards set-aside in the next season,” he added.
Arnaud Rousseau Chairman of Copa and Cogeca’s Oilseeds Working Party stressed “EU oilseeds production is estimated to be 2% up on last year’s levels reaching at 32.4 million tonnes, despite the adverse weather. EU rapeseed production is up by 3.6% standing at 21.3 million tonnes which will ensure EU livestock producers have a good supply of protein crops to feed their animals. The increased area in rapeseed is linked to the very low economic attractiveness of cereal production and low prices. The extreme weather conditions have also been affecting production, such as Soya production has not increased despite an expansion in the area of +5%. Producers have also been experiencing problems with sowing their next crops with the drought and wet weather conditions limiting the sowing area for the next season”. GOL(17)6918 (rev.3)GOL(17)6919 (rev.2)
He continued “We welcome the discussion with MEPs and DG agri on setting up the long term protein crop strategy for the coming years. It is all about food security, critical mass and the contribution to sustainable protein crop production. We are challenging all the stakeholders in the food and feed chain to take an active part in this work”. For details, seeCER(17)6917 (rev.3)