If consumers want more environmentally friendly farming, they need to understand the realities of it and support it in their food choices, according to European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski.

He said that European Union (EU) citizens need to be informed about how EU farmers are “already sustainable”, especially in a global context, and made aware of the challenges involved in increasing that sustainability.

Commissioner Wojciechowski said that when it comes to sustainable agriculture, there is a “need to work together across all of society”.

He warned that while this can involve pushing farmers towards further sustainability with regulations and incentives, “at the end of the day farmers must follow market demand”.

The Commissioner made his remarks on Saturday while outlining his position on food production in light of the war in Ukraine.

Current volatility

Commissioner Wojciechowski said that in the face of the current volatility and future uncertainty created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “ensuring stability is essential” when it comes to EU food production.

“We are putting forward realistic approaches and practical solutions for stability that reflect the reality of farmers.

“We are showing unity in the face of Russia's aggression, we are showing unity in supporting Ukraine and countries in Africa and Middle-East that are vulnerable to food insecurity; we need to show the same unity in supporting our farmers and our food system,” he said.

No divisiveness

The Polish politician said now is “not a time for self-aggrandizing divisiveness” and warned that while there is “currently a war on our borders, we must not be at war with ourselves” on food production and its sustainability.

He said that instead, there needs to be a “holistic approach to sustainability” which encompasses social, environmental and economic sustainability.

The Commissioner said there are “short-term solutions” which will help to achieve this holistic approach including how Brussels and member states communicate the realities of food production.

He also highlighted “long-term solutions” which will support sustainable food security including the new CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 and a “realistic approach” to the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy.

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