Address by Mr Janusz Wojciechowski on the adoption of the European Commission Communication "Safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems"
Address given recently (23 March 2022) by Mr Janusz Wojciechowski on the adoption of the European Commission Communication "Safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems".
"Check against delivery"
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown us the importance of ensuring food security at all times, within the EU and across the globe. This objective, enshrined in our founding Treaties some 65 years ago, is today as important as ever.
For the global food system, the loss of grain exports from Ukraine means that up to 25 million tonnes of wheat must be substituted in the current and the next season. This is indispensable for overall world food needs, which are also affected by a likely reduction of Russian exports. Combined, Ukraine and Russia are responsible for over 30% of world wheat exports.
The strong price increase on cereal markets puts global food security at risk, affecting vulnerable people in food deficit countries.
We must shield vulnerable countries, notably in Africa, the Middle-East, and in the European Neighbourhood region, from pressures on food availability and prices.
In recent days, I have spoken with Ministers from the Ukrainian government, who have described the situation facing their farmers. They have spoken of destroyed land, of lost crops and livestock.
We had a discussion with the Ukrainian Minister for Agriculture during AGRIFISH on Monday. Minister Roman Leshchenko told us that Ukrainian 'farmers are fighting at day, and working to provide food at night'.
He also reminded us that the uncertainty of sowing and harvesting in Ukraine may continue for several years and that puts pressure on global markets.
I also spoke with Deputy Minister Taras Dzoba, who said that Russia is taking Ukrainian soil and using it “as a weapon”.
A weapon against its own people; a weapon of starvation.
In the face of this weapon, the European Union will not stand down. We will step up, we will defend our neighbours, defend the international community, and defend ourselves.
The Versailles declaration of the European Council called upon the Commission to take urgent action to present options to address the rising food prices and the issue of global food security as soon as possible.
Click here for the full press release
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