Food Security & Contingency planning
The resilience of the EU’s food system has been challenged during the COVID-19 crisis pandemic 2020–21 & Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Although The Eu Agri-food chain has proven to be resilient up until now the current crises showed that the EU has severe supply challenges for specific products and segments in the agri-food chain. Hence, the Commission published two important Communications to address these issues.
On 12 November 2021, the Commission published its Communication to develop a contingency plan to ensure food supply and food security in times of crisis. The plan aims to ensure a sufficient and varied supply of safe, nutritious, affordable and sustainable food to citizens at all times. It outlines areas for improvement that were identified during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the need to enhance a collaborative approach between all public and private parties that play a role in the food supply chain, monitoring of market imbalances and where necessary, followed by swift intervention using available tools (under the CAP and the CFP), and the creation of a European food security crisis preparedness and response mechanism (EFSCM).
On 23 March 2022, the Commission published its Communication Safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems. The Communication aims to safeguard global food security & support EU farmers and consumers that have been impacted by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. As for the measures, the commission will (among others):
- continue to advocate against export restrictions and export bans, as open and well-functioning global supply chains and logistics are essential for global food security
- gran an exceptional and temporary derogation to allow the production of crops on land set aside within the EU, while maintaining full greening payments for farmers
FEFAC welcomed both communications, being involved in the immediate crisis mitigation processes. Especially the Commission´s decision to gather monthly data on cereals and oilseeds stocks by relevant producers, wholesalers and operators on 20 May 2022 was highly appreciated. FEFAC believes that timely notifications on stock levels will give a timely and accurate picture of the availability of essential commodities for food and feed.
FEFAC will continue to play an active part in the new European Food Security Crisis preparedness & Response Mechanism (the EFSCM) in order to help the EU prepare for potential future challenges such as extreme weather events, plant and animal health issues, and shortages of key inputs such as fertilisers, energy and feed.