“Agriculture will only be able to effectively contribute to the fight against climate change if realistically achievable goals are determined in practice”, Minister of Agriculture István Nagy said in Brussels following a meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.

At the first meeting to be held with participants personally present since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, EU agriculture ministers continued the debate on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). With relation to the environmental and climate protection goals included in the so-called Green Deal, Mr. Nagy said that it is primarily the targets for the reduction of pesticides and concerning eco-areas that are too ambitious, and their implementation at member state level would lead to a reduction in production, an increase in prices, and negatively effect competitiveness. “When determining the starting values, the climate change measures already introduced by member states must definitely be taken into consideration”, the Hungarian Minister said. “The CAP negotiations are considerably behind schedule, and accordingly it is imperative that the new system should begin on 1 January 2023 following a two-year transition period, to give member state sufficient time to prepare for its implementation”, he added.

“During the debate on the state of the agrarian market, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Slovenia jointly called on the Commission to immediately put forward a proposal on tightening the regulations concerning the origin markings of apiculture products. An amendment of the regulation would enable the more successful tracking of honey of dubious origin coming from third countries”, he explained. “We must put an end to the practice that is damaging to both the sector and consumers whereby the ratio of import honeys is not clearly marked on the packaging of the honey blends found on supermarket shelves”, the Minister warned.

(Ministry of Agriculture / MTI)