Transitional CAP, market measures, unfair trade practices

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Welcome to EURACTIV’s AgriFood Brief, your weekly update on all things Agriculture & Food in the EU. You can subscribe here if you haven’t done so yet. The European Parliament’s agriculture committee has approved a negotiating mandate for upcoming talks...


Agrifood news from around Europe

After media reports on the death of a Romanian seasonal worker from COVID-19 who was brought into Germany to harvest, Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner has called on Germany’s state governments to help protect seasonal workers from the coronavirus. According to Klöckner, states must ensure measures are “absolutely adhered to on farms, even if it costs time and money.” Last week, she wrote a letter to her state colleagues conveying this message and warning that the alternative would be “that no more workers come from abroad, spoiled harvests, or [crops] are not planted at all.” (Sarah Lawton |

The highly anticipated EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F), which was intended to favour short distribution routes, has been postponed to a later date. However, the current COVID-19 crisis is speeding up the agricultural sector’s shift towards food self-sufficiency. EURACTIV France reports.

After the almost complete closure of foodservice and hospitality outlets has caused a loss of market for around eight million litres of milk per week, more than 2,230 letters have been written to nearly 400 MPs as part of the UK National Farmers Union (NFU) campaign calling for urgent help to save a sector hit severely by the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFU estimate that already a quarter of all dairy farmers in England and Wales have been hit financially as a result of the crisis. (Natasha Foote |

Drought is currently hitting Italy’s South hard. In one of the main national supply basins for durum wheat, the Capitanata province, a loss of 30% of the harvest is predicted. Given the circumstances, many farmers have also decided not to transplant tomatoes, and instead are choosing to terminate their contracts with processing companies prematurely, news website Agronotizie reported. (Gerardo Fortuna |

The government wants to have the National Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy completed as soon as possible, PM Andrej Plenkovic has said. The future strategy aims to enhance the productivity and resilience of agricultural systems, boost the competitiveness of the national agriculture, revitalise the economy and improve living conditions in rural areas and encourage innovations in the sector. Read more (Karla Juničić |

Belgian potato farmers are facing a potential surplus of 750,000 tonnes of potatoes, which are now at risk of being destroyed. This surplus is due to measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to Belgapom, the association for Belgian potato trade and processing. (Natasha Foote |

Over 500,000 egg-producing hens have been culled in County Monaghan, Ireland, since the beginning of an outbreak of avian influenza in the county. The Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that the outbreak is partially responsible for causing a notable shortfall in egg supply. This shortage of eggs is being partly replaced by increased imports from the UK and mainland Europe. (Natasha Foote |

According to Credit Agricole analysts, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages will increase this year by 5.2% compared to 2019, partially due to difficult conditions brought about by drought. “To stave off drought, it would have to rain regularly for three months in a row,” said hydrologist Paweł Staniszewski.”If it does not fall in the next two weeks, the situation will be tragic. Plants have no conditions for growth, which will bring financial problems to farmers, and increases in food prices,”  said Wiktor Szmulewicz, the president of the National Council of Agricultural Chambers. (Mateusz Kucharczyk|

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