The objective of the action plan for the development of organic farming is to stimulate the production and consumption of organic products to reach 25% of agricultural land in organic farming by 2030. The plan also foresees a significant increase in organic aquaculture. Minister Podgoršek underlined that this sector has the potential to secure income and create jobs for farmers and rural economies. He added, “Organic farming is part of the EU’s green transition and is crucial for protecting Europe’s environment and preserving its biodiversity. The new action plan will provide a sustainable future for EU farmers.
At the meeting, the Commission presented information on the European citizens’ initiative ‘End the Cage Age’, which calls for the establishment of a cage-free breeding system to promote animal welfare and which has been signed by 1.4 million people across the EU. Podgoršek noted, “Today, ministers responded to the initiative of EU citizens by supporting the ban on cages for many farm animals. Raising animals in cages is against welfare principles animal, which I personally strongly defend. We must put an end to it. practice. However, we must nevertheless take into account the social and economic aspects of agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is not possible without strict standards of animal wellbeing. The Commission will carry out an in-depth analysis and develop an appropriate legislative framework to respond to the demand from the Farm-to-Fork Strategy for a transition to more ethical and sustainable farming systems, which will be one of the key objectives review of animal welfare legislation. The review is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2023.
In a videoconference meeting with US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, ministers discussed the challenges agriculture faces as a result of climate change and the transition to more sustainable food systems.
In line with established practice, Podgoršek presented agriculture and fisheries priorities to the EU Council under the slogan “Together. Resilient. Europe.”. Priorities include a new EU strategy for forestry, sustainable agriculture and rural development (digitization and the role of women), improving the position of farmers in the food supply chain, biodiversity and ” food labeling (including honey mixtures). The Slovenian Presidency will make every effort to conclude the procedures relating to the main legislative acts currently under discussion, in particular the regulation on fisheries control and the reform of the common agricultural policy.