Seed Legislation Vital For Sustainable and Productive Farming10 May 2013
EU – Pan-european producer body, Copa-Cogeca has outlined views on the Commission’s animal and plant health package.
Over 150 stakeholders were present at a two day conference to debate EU legislation on healthier livestock and plants to ensure safe food supply chains.
Thor Kofoed, Chairman of the Seeds Working Party highlighted the important role played by seeds and propagating material as the first stage in growth.
“The availability of high quality seeds must be a top priority to ensure sustainability, productivity and variety of products in Europe,” said Mr Kofoed. “Proportionate risk prevention measures must also cover all sectors, including niche markets, to maintain quality seeds. Pests and diseases do not know borders”.
For grass and crop seeds drilled recently and destroyed by the perseverance of ‘priority pests’, compensation should be forthcoming.
This was the message of Luc Peeters, Chairman of the Phytosanitary Working Party who said that the new EU budget for 2014-2020 should cater for the loss of market value rather than farmers having to bear costs themselves.
Overall the package intends to bolster safety standards as new risks develop. Food safety issues, natural resources and emerging pests are all issues driving the policy, said Copa General Secretary, Pekka Pesonen.
“Increasing challenges like rising food demand, scarce natural resources, emerging risks and pests in Europe, together with a need to ensure a more productive, competitive and sustainable EU agriculture, mean it is crucial to ensure that everyone is responsible for healthy animals and plants for a safer food chain Europe,” stated Mr Pesonen. “In particular, I am pleased to see a major simplification of legislation with a reduction from almost 70 pieces of legislation to just 5. When the more detailed implementing rules are developed, stakeholders’ expertise must be taken into account both at Member State and at EU level”.
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