This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Meetings between Agriculture and Rural Development and Industry'.



Ref. Ares(2022)5884745 - 23/08/2022
From:
Personal data (AGRI)
To:
Personal data  (AGRI)
Subject:
MINUTES - 28 April- Copa and Cogeca joint Praesidia meeting (RB)
Date:
02 May 2022 11:03:58
Importance:
High
From: Personal data
 (AGRI) <Personal data @ec.europa.eu> 
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2022 11:16 AM
To: AGRI CABINET MEMBERS MEETINGS <xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xx.xxxxxx.xx>;
Personal data
@ec.europa.eu>; Personal data
(AGRI)
Personal data
@ec.europa.eu>
Cc: Personal   (AGRI) <Personal  @ec.europa.eu>; Personal data  (AGRI)
d t
Personal data @ec.europa.eu
d t
>; Personal data  (AGRI) <Personal data @ec.europa.eu>;
Personal data
 (AGRI) <Personal data
@ec.europa.eu>
Subject: RE: PARTICIPANT DESIGNATION- 28 April- Copa and Cogeca joint Praesidia meeting (RB)
 
Dear Personal  ,
 
d t
As requested in your e-mail below, please find more detailed minutes of the meeting in the
following.
 
In short the main points of the farmers representatives were:
§  Boosting production to ensure global food security is essential.
§  The F2F strategy needs to be revised and farmers should be subjected to fewer conditions.
§  The high input costs are a problem if it is unclear at what prices the crops can be sold in a few
months’ time.
§  Uncertainty about fertiliser prices makes it difficult to plan cropping for 2023.
§  National issues (wolves and drought in Spain, refugees in Poland).
§  General discontent with the Commission and DG AGRI (in their insistence on the Green Deal
and limited financial support).
 
And the main points in the reply of our Commissioner were:
§  We are prepared to support Ukraine.
§  We know production costs are high, esp. because of fertiliser, and we have a support
mechanism.
§  We are also monitoring the situation regarding food security.
§  We made exceptions to address short-term challenges, but we cannot ignore long-term
considerations.
§  Some parts of the F2F strategy have no impact on food security or even increase efficiency.  
§  The Green Deal will be implemented via national strategic plans and in a fair way.
§  The financial framework for the CAP is the result of a a decision by the 27 MSs and can only be
changed by them.  
 
Detailed minutes:
 
Pers : The EU realised how important food security is and how important it is to protect supply
chains. Using fallow land goes in the right direction. Farmers are suffering because of price hikes

of all inputs. Farmers also worry about the next CAP; national plans and measures on GAEC (esp.
for crop rotation) are of utmost concern. The Commission has to show flexibility and adapt so

that farmers can persevere; the F2F strategy should be adapted as it dates from before COVID
and the war.
 
Commissioner: I would like to outline the Commission’s position on crisis management, state aid
and the CAP process… [Read-out of the briefing, with some omissions to shorten the speech.]
 
Personal data
: Farmers need certainty regarding the strategic plans; we need decisions
to be able to start work now (e.g. we need to know if we have crop diversification or rotation)
and we need extraordinary measures. In Spain there is also a problem with large carnivores (i.e.
wolves). We need to be able to hunt carnivores, but without a reform of the directive, we cannot
do so; then we need to take matters in our own hands.
 
Personal data
: The decision on fallow lands is good and hopefully helps producing more
grain. Regarding the package of 500 million, 350 million of that is farmers’ money that will not be
re-distributed later. We are also concerned about fertiliser for 2023 where we extraordinary
price increases; bio-gas will not replace the needed gas. Currently the high prices are driving
farmers out of production. This raises questions around the timing and speed of F2F – what is
critical at the moment is food security. We also have to have a look again at retailers and their
pricing.
 
Question sent in writing: Will an IA be made on the suspension of import duties?
 
Personal data
: F2F contained good approaches, but the situation changed. We have a
drop in food production and increasing prices. The Commission must re-consider its F2F and
Biodiversity strategies. We have a responsibility regarding the rest of the world to produce more
food in Europe.
 
Personal data
: Regarding fertilisers, this is a very important issue and we hope on more
support. PL took in a great number of refugees, but the EU does not seem to want to support us.
We have 2 m refugees, we want to continue our solidarity, but it is scandalous what is
happening. We opened our borders and agreed with SANTE to send products from Ukraine via
PL to third countries. And the only thing is import duties are addressed.
 
Personal data
: For increased resilience we must ensure the food supply chain operates
optimally. Farmers will need another package next year when fertiliser prices are still high. How
will the Commission ensure food production in future? We go into the food crisis and at same
time international fertiliser companies record all-time profits. What are you going to do to stop
this robbery? Dirty structures must be destroyed.
 
Representative from IT: Farmers are deeply concerned. We are called to produce more cereals
and contribute to reduce the cost of feed for our livestock production. But our inputs are very
expensive (seeds, gas, diesel). We are not sure whether we will be able to recover the money we
are spending. EU farmers need more help. It is not enough to say that we have to produce more.
Today cereals are produced at very high costs. We need guarantees for the prices of wheat in
June and of maize in September.
 
Personal data
: We condemn Putin’s regime and support solidarity with Ukraine.
Certain rules regarding green payments have to be relaxed. Food has to be secured for EU

citizens. In times of war this becomes even more important, i.e. additional measures are needed.
In Spain there is also drought, so we would like to ask the Commission to release funds from
rural development FEDER so that they can help farmers going through the current situation.
 
Personal data
 We are preparing for 2023 and we need to make decisions regarding
our cropping plans. In this context access to energy is important; we cannot risk interruptions to
our cropping cycles. It is important to be able to rely on processing, too. The energy policies are
not in line with our needs. Can we count on the Commission to remedy this?
 
Commissioner:
§  It is my understanding that you have a representative of Ukraine with you. I want to express
our complete solidarity. This week I visited the Baltic states where I was also able to speak
with the Ukrainian agricultural minister, how we could help. This Russian aggression has
profoundly affected Ukrainian production where losses will be considerable. Ukrainian
farmers continue to work, despite putting their lives on the line. There are many problems
and yet Ukraine is still present on international markets. Ukraine is in possession of feed that
they could export, but port facilities were destroyed and the railway transport situation is
challenging. We are prepared to support them.
§  Regarding the suspension of import duties, the Commission has decided to grant this for one
year, for food.
§  We know that production costs are increasing. We know that this crisis and the increase in
fertiliser prices is huge, so we have to take measures. We have to put in place a support
mechanism for a war context. Two countries already set up a support system, PL and ES. We
are waiting for requests from other countries. This support is necessary but it is in the hands
of the MSs.
§  Regarding crisis management measures, the crisis reserve is not sufficient but it will be
supplemented by direct payments.
§  Regarding the CAP budget, MSs decided on the budget as it currently stands.
§  Regarding support measures, we are taking a very close look at the F2F strategy and food
security measures and we continuously monitor the impact of the strategies on food security
and the agri-food sector. The decision concerning fallow land is a result of our monitoring as
excluding 40 m hectares would have an impact on food security. In the long-term it would be
beneficial to sustainability, but in this exceptional context farmers have to have the
possibility to use these areas.
§  Other parts of the F2F strategy have no impact on food security (e.g. animal welfare), so they
do not need to be addressed or changed. Or if we do not have e.g. precision farming in the
strategic plans, they will have to be adapted. (There is also the possibility in the second pillar
to have investments into technologies.) This would allow us to use less fertilisers and be
more productive. These types of measures are not detrimental to production; they increase
efficiency. We must not abandon the organic sector. This is something that consumers want,
but it is also in the interest of farmers.
§  The Green Deal will be realised because it is enshrined in the national strategic plans, which
will be approved and validated on the basis of the binding elements of the legislation. Of
course we have environmental measures, but these national plans affect pesticide limits for
the use of the products and we need to adjust differences between MSs; some MSs have
higher than average use of pesticides, while in others it is below. So we should not put the
same reduction requirement on each country because this is not fair.
§  In the Commission Communication on food security, the Commission underlined the