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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Farm to Fork Conference highlights the transition to sustainable agriculture


Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Jože Podgoršek attended the Farm to Fork international conference via video conference. The event, which is taking place on 14 and 15 October, is organised by the European Commission. The two-day conference will be devoted to the wider aspects of the strategy and sustainable food systems, which include all stakeholders in the food chain.

As Chair of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Minister Jože Podgoršek participated in the panel taking place on the first day of the conference, which focused on the challenges and opportunities of the global transition to sustainable food systems, as well as on the international importance of the Farm to Fork Strategy. In his address, he thanked the European Commission for organising the conference. He added that the Farm to Fork Strategy responds to circumstances the world has found itself in. It requires countries to be ambitious on two levels: within the European Union and in their relations with third countries, which have to support the reforms to which the EU has committed. “Factors that we consider important in concluding trade agreements with third countries are animal welfare, a minimum use of plant protection products and a prohibition of growth promoters and the unnecessary use of antibiotics.”

In addition, the Minister stressed that climate change is one of the main reasons for the transition to sustainable agriculture and that rapid action is necessary to halt the trend.  He also stated that larger countries should serve as an example for smaller countries and help them with sustainable transition. “The European Union wants to establish partnerships with third countries to ensure together that the principles of sustainability and environmental responsibility are passed on to future generations,” said the Minister.

Minister Podgoršek also participated in the discussion in which he observed that we face global challenges as regards the adaptation of third countries to the new European standards. “Changes are necessary; we therefore need to adopt new bold measures to transform food production and consumption. The EU is not alone in this since more and more countries are making this commitment.” It is above all a call to partner countries for joint action at the global level in order to respond to climate change and other challenges. Agriculture Minister Podgoršek also touched on the impact of the Green Deal and its strategies on the agricultural market. He recalled that, even though the Farm to Fork Strategy and other strategies represent a great challenge for the agricultural market, we should not perceive the transition to sustainable agriculture as a threat but rather as an economic opportunity. “We have to adopt innovative agricultural practices and technologies and invest in knowledge, research and innovation in order to achieve ambitious objectives and use the transition to sustainable systems as a competitive opportunity,” noted the Minister.


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