The European Union is preparing a strategy to achieve a healthier and more sustainable diet. It is the so-called Farm to Fork Strategy, which will mark the evolution of environmental regulations or policies as important as the CAP. The Farm to Table strategy will seek to foster the circular economy, reducing the environmental impact of food production and lowering the percentages of food waste. The Commission's estimates affirm that each year more than 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted in the world, a third of world production. The Farm to Fork strategy may have consequences for the meat sector, due to the persecution of greenhouse gases and the elimination of aid and meat promotion campaigns. From Anafric, we try to answer the questions that arise regarding the strategy, through Carolina Cururella, one of the association's technical professionals.
Although INTEROVIC appreciates the direct aid measures for sheep and goat farmers adopted by the spanish Ministry of Food, Fisheries and Agriculture (MAPA), it considers that the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the entire chain in a very dramatic way and believes that there are more ways to help the sector.
For this reason, INTEROVIC and all its partners, made up of the most representative agri-food associations and organizations in the country, have just presented a series of proposals to the Government.
As stated by Raúl Muñiz, president of the Interprofessional “these are complementary measures that we believe can contribute to reducing the impact of this crisis on the sheep and goat meat sector. These measures are independent from those that may be presented by the companies and member organizations of INTEROVIC, more tailored to the needs of each and every one of its partners ”.
INTEROVIC Battery of Proposals
1.- Supply management measures:
· Support for MAPA’s request to the Commission for private storage aid until the current circumstances of COVID-19 and the supposed recovery of the supply chain are overcome, for its commercialization in the national and EU market; without penalty for the early departure of the product from warehouses for export to third countries.
· The massive purchase of product by the Public Administrations, so that the army, hospitals, residences, prisons, school canteens, etc., acquire suckling lamb, lamb or goat meat.
· Articulation of aid for the control and reduction of the supply in the feeding centers and farms, with the objective of reducing the supply of livestock farmers to feeding centers and feeding centers to slaughterhouses
· Lastly, promote and help exports in two markets that may be transcendental at the moment:
o China: reinforce diplomatic pressure at the highest level on the Chinese government with the aim of allowing the export of sheep and goat meat to this country as soon as possible. INTEROVIC has collaborated with companies to facilitate business contacts that will allow exports to start immediately.
o Saudi Arabia: reinforce diplomatic pressure on the Saudi Government with the aim of allowing the export of live animals.
2.- Measures relating to current CAP
To try to give liquidity to the sector and also that the difficulties in the commercialization of the products do not affect the farmers in the next campaigns of the CAP.
3.- Measures to make administrative management more flexible.
· Flexibility and adaptation of some administrative procedures, such as livestock sanitation, the request for guides or mandatory documentary management for exports, to the current circumstances of limitation to facilitate the movement of livestock and export to third countries.
· Facilitate the entry into Spain of specialized workers to carry out shearing in Spanish herds. The lack of manpower is going to cause an Animal Welfare problem in the whole of our livestock herd, for this reason it is necessary that crews from other countries can come to Spain to start carrying out this completely seasonal work.
4.- Economic or fiscal incentive measures
Measures are requested to help provide liquidity to the sector. Among these measures, the application of a super reduced VAT for the sheep-goat sector, in this way the PVP of their products would reach the consumer at a lower price, making this meat more competitive and more accessible to society as a whole.
5.- Other measures
The possibility that the EU supports promotional campaigns in response to the emergency situation in which we find ourselves, as well as promoting from the Government of Spain campaigns to support products of national origin to encourage consumers to buy products from here . It should not be forgotten that Spanish producers are those who have been working very hard to supply the population, guaranteeing their supply at all times in the shelves, small shops and online stores.
Encourage consumption at home
For its part, INTEROVIC is working on an awareness campaign to inform society of the sustainable and natural value of suckling lamb, lamb and goat meat and promote its consumption at home.
Under the hashtag #YoCocinoParaMiVecino #CorderoEnCasa #CabritoEnCasa, users can join the campaign. At the same time, the interprofessional is working on another campaign to support bars and restaurants once the period of confinement ends, with the relaunch of the “Paquito” campaign.