Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, will today emphasise the need to examine all options to protect supply chains and food security as the European Union continues to evolve its response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Minister is calling for a medium-term perspective to ensure food security at a global level.
Minister McConalogue is attending a meeting of the Council of Agriculture Ministers in Brussels today.
Speaking ahead of the council, he said: “I support the comprehensive nature of the European Commission’s agri-food related response to the impacts arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I have welcomed the Commission’s support package, including the provision of exceptional aid, the new temporary State Aid framework and the potential use of rural development funding. I will also call for ongoing vigilance over the coming months, not just in relation to the cost of inputs but also in relation to their availability.”
He added that a medium-term perspective on food supply will feature prominently in the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) that will take place in Geneva in mid-June. The Minister said: ”I look forward to hearing the Commission’s update on the preparations for MC12 next month. A positive outcome is essential in the context of maintaining global food security and to underscore the very real benefits of a rules-based international trading system. I know the Commission is working hard with WTO partners on putting together a food security package, and I fully support those efforts. Food is our most precious resource at times like this and a global, coordinated approach is crucial to protect our food chains.
“Of course, the European Union must also robustly defend its interests in the context of the wider WTO agenda, including by protecting key elements of the Common Agriculture Policy, such as the non-trade distorting (or ‘Green Box’) nature of direct payments. It must also achieve a balanced outcome on fisheries, taking into account the progress achieved under the Common Fisheries Policy and, from Ireland’s perspective, retaining existing fuel detaxation arrangements.”