This week began in Japan, where I spoke at the G7 meeting of Agriculture Ministers. Similarly to my recent speech at the Forum for the Future of Agriculture, I emphasised the need for stronger international cooperation to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.
When it comes to issues such as food security, climate change, environmental sustainability, soil management, or water conservation, there is a strengthening understanding that we’re all in this together.
And it is clear that a smart and holistic global agriculture policy will be absolutely central to any lasting solutions. In my second speech at the G7, I gave concrete examples of how the EU, and the CAP in particular, is contributing to these goals.
Having returned to Brussels, I was pleased to announce that 'Patata del Fucino', a potato product from Italy, and 'Levický slad,’ a light pilsner-type barley malt from Slovakia, have been added to the EU register of Protected Geographical Indications.
I was pleased to meet with the Icelandic Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture Gunnar Sveinsson, and Philippe Richert, President of both the Alsace Champagne-Ardenne Lorraine Region as well as the Association of French Regions, to discuss areas of mutual interest and cooperation.
And I sent an important reply to a letter I received from 100 European NGOs requesting a "fitness check" for the CAP. This letter raised several important questions for the future of European agriculture which deserve to be discussed in detail.
I am happy to engage in this discussion because we all have to work together to allow European farmers to continue their important role in providing safe and healthy food, in boosting economic growth in rural areas while taking care of our countryside.
The Commission has put in place - together with EU Member States - a Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the CAP. This framework will provide solid information on the results of our policy while taking into account the challenges and the context in which the CAP operates.
I touched on these topics, and more, when I participated in an interview and panel discussion hosted by Politico Europe. This was a welcome opportunity to discuss my priorities for the CAP, as well as a number of other topics including environmental issues and Brexit, to name just a few. You can see the full interview and panel debate here.
Finally, I concluded the week by speaking at a seminar on access to finance in the agri-food sector. This is an issue high on my priority list, because if we are serious about supporting the sector's ability to create jobs and growth, we need to develop suitable forms of finance. The country I know best, Ireland, is taking some important steps in this direction, and I hope this will be emulated across the EU.
Attending the G7 Agriculture Ministerial Meeting in Niigata, Japan
With the Icelandic Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture Gunnar Sveinsson