The Agriculture and Environment committees of the European Parliament have voted to approve the report on the Farm to Fork Strategy, against the will of the ECR Group.
Speaking after the vote, the ECR shadow rapporteurs, MEPs Mazaly Aguilar and Hermann Tertsch, said that the Farm to Fork Strategy “lacks the ambition to provide farmers with solutions and a clear vision of the model of agriculture Europe needs”.
In this sense, Aguilar warned that “the Commission and Parliament cannot ignore the clamour of the European agricultural sector and its experts”, who “are pointing more and more clearly towards a bleak outlook if there are no substantial changes in the strategy”.
She also recalled that “the EU still has time to respond to the real challenges of its rural world.”
Tertsch stressed that “there is a long way to go to find a balance between environmental concerns and the economic reality of the countryside.” Furthermore, he said that “it is absurd to insist on a 50% reduction in pesticides if we are not able to offer alternatives to farmers and control imported products.”
Although he clarified that “it is good news that the report of the Parliament did not include the request to prohibit glyphosate and to reduce the consumption and production of meat”.
Since the beginning of the negotiations, the ECR Group has called for an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable approach to the Farm to Fork policy.
The Conservatives stressed that the European Union needs to step up its efforts in adopting new techniques, driving innovation and ensuring sufficient crop protection, rather than calling for binding targets of which the impacts have not been duly assessed.
“We must in no way jeopardize European food security”, the ECR MEPs said. “If effective tools are not available, we risk wasting food because of crop failure and losing our farmers”, they added.