A month after the Council reached an agreement on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Luxembourg, on Monday the focus was on the EU forest strategy and food systems. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Ministers of Agriculture of the 27 EU member states met online via videoconference on Monday.
At a public session from 10.00 until 13.00, the German Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Commission and briefed ministers about a range of topics. These include:
- Forest-related policies in the European Union and the EU forest strategy after 2020. The German Council Presidency will present the conclusions of the Council on EU forest strategy. The focus is on the adaptation of forests to climate change, the contribution of forests to a competitive bioeconomy and the protection of biodiversity;
- Food losses and food waste. The German Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission will present the progress made in implementing the Council conclusions from 28 June 2016 on reducing food losses. According to these conclusions, the member states are obliged to report every two years on the progress made in reducing food waste;
- The Commission will furthermore inform ministers about the first conference on the “farm to fork” strategy, which took place on 15 and 16 October 2020. The “farm to fork” strategy is part of the European Green Deal of the European Commission. It aims to reduce the ecological footprint of food systems and make the current EU food system more sustainable. Under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH) unanimously adopted the conclusions on the “farm to fork” strategy on 19 October;
- The ministers will also discuss their preparations for the United Nations’ Food Systems Summit, which is to take place in September 2021;
- At the end of the videoconference, the Danish delegation will provide information on the current situation regarding the SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in mink farms in Denmark.
In the second session of the meeting in the afternoon from 14.30 to 16.45, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, reported to the agriculture ministers on the situation on the agricultural markets – in particular on the effects of the pandemic and market uncertainties in connection with the end of Brexit transition period.