Future of the common agricultural policy, EU Bioeconomy Strategy and protein self-sufficiency on the Council agenda

The Agriculture and Fisheries Council will convene in Brussels on 19 February 2018. The main topic is the Commission Communication on the future of the CAP, “the Future of Food and Farming”. The Council will also discuss the updating of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and hear information from the Commission on the progress of the EU Protein Plan. The Finnish representative at the meeting is Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä.

The discussion on the future common agricultural policy will be based on questions posed by the Bulgarian Presidency. Finland considers that direct payments to agriculture are an important means for stabilising incomes to ensure a fair income level for farmers as well as reasonably-priced and safe foodstuffs to consumers.

In terms of coupled payments, Finland considers that their main purpose is to contribute to the common objectives of the CAP concerning active farming, protein self-sufficiency in the EU and diverse production. In the achievement of the climate and environmental objectives of the CAP Member States should have sufficient freedom of choice to enable countries with different kinds of natural conditions and agricultural activities to choose means that are the best suited to fulfil the objectives.

Also on the agenda in the meeting of the Agriculture Ministers is the updating of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy from the perspective of the agricultural sector. Finland considers that it is important to take account of the whole chain from the sustainable renewable raw material and resource-efficient production process to the use of products and services, recycling and utilisation for energy.

In addition, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council will hear information from the Commission on the preparation of the EU Protein Plan. Finland supports the idea of having a common EU plan concerning protein. In the Finnish view the plan should also cover, besides increasing the production of protein crops, other sources of plant-based protein, including oilseed crops and side-streams from different types of industrial processes. The EU Protein Plan could also be used in the preparation of the future CAP, considering that the EU protein deficit is a well-known and widely recognised problem.

Inquires at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:
Kari Valonen, Head of EU Coordination and International Affairs, tel. +358 295 162 269, kari.valonen(at)mmm.fi

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, press release, 16.2.2018