Minister of Agriculture István Nagy has written to the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, warning that the competitiveness of European farmers should not be compromised by European animal welfare and plant protection regulations dubbed the Farm to Fork strategy.
In his reply to Stella Kyriakides regarding Hungary’s implementation of the regulations, the minister noted that farmers had demonstrated that agriculture guaranteed the provision of safe food to the EU population during the coronavirus epidemic, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement.
“This is of great value to us all and we must protect it” he wrote.
Nagy said he agreed that agriculture must take climate change into consideration, but this should be seen by the sector’s players as an opportunity rather than an onerous burden.
He said new rules should be properly considered and goals based on realistic conditions and relevant impact studies, the statement said.
European agriculture should be encouraged to become more sustainable while maintaining its competitiveness, the minister wrote.
Implementation of the European Green Deal provisions will largely depend on the extent of the Common Agricultural Policy budget.
“We cannot expect EU farmers to carry out an increasing number of tasks while reducing their subsidies.” Ambitious green goals should be matched by an equally ambitious budget, he wrote.
European Commission goals, the minister wrote, could put European farming at risk while paving the way for cheap produce from outside the EU that are produced unsustainably, causing major environmental damage.
No international standards forcing famers in third countries to comply with environmental and climate protection requirements come anywhere close to the rigour of European ones, Nagy wrote in his letter.