MEP, Chamber Say Farm to Fork Strategy is Chance for Croatian Farmers

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Copyright Romulić and Stojčić
MEP, Chamber say Farm to Fork Strategy is chance for Croatian farmers
MEP, Chamber say Farm to Fork Strategy is chance for Croatian farmers

ZAGREB, September 21, 2020 – The EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy is an opportunity for Croatian farmers but a common fight is necessary to protect the domestic market, invest in technology and motivate youth to continue farming and stay in rural areas, MEP Biljana Borzan and the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) said on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference, Borzan said it was necessary to transition to sustainable production in order to preserve soil, water and air.

She recalled that the EU planned, by 2030, to halve the use of pesticides and antibiotics in agriculture and to increase by 25% the land with ecological production.

In order to encourage the transition to sustainable production and consumption, the Farm to Fork Strategy envisages amending about 20 European laws and regulations and reviewing market standards for farm products.

Borzan said she would fight for the promotion of locally grown products, adding that Croatian farmers should be protected from products which did not meet European standards.

HPK president Mladen Jakopovic said Croatia met many ecological standards required in EU agriculture, adding that its advantages were a clean environment, the fact that it was GMO-free and had a diversified economy.

He warned, however, that excessive cheap imports, weak consumption and putting agriculture in a negative context had resulted in a production decline in all sectors.

Jakopovic said that in the past five years Croatia’s agriculture production dropped 26%. Its value dropped from HRK 21 billion in 2012, before EU accession in mid-2013, to HRK 17 billion in 2019, he said, highlighing the negative foreign trade balance in cattle breeding.

He said that in order to contribute to the realisation of the Farm to Fork Strategy, farmers should have adequate financial support for the transition.

Trade agreements should not allow the import of goods which do not meet the EU’s green standards, Jakopovic said, adding that every state should be at least 70% self-sufficient in the event of a crisis.

He said the HPK would compile a database of agricultural producer prices across the EU which would help to better enforce laws on unfair trade practices and show which EU country undermined the market with dumping prices.


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