The role of the CAP and the National Strategic Plans for the CAP in transforming the beef sector in a more sustainable direction was the topic of the debate attended by secretaries of state Lech Kołakowski and Rafał Romanowski.
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Beef Sector Forum, the so-called Beef Forum was held for the ninth time. It was also attended by the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, representatives of Polish and foreign agricultural organizations, scientists, representatives of institutions subordinate to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and cooperating with it, as well as representatives of the beef industry.
During the speech opening the discussion, Secretary of State Lech Kołakowski emphasized that animal husbandry is an area of Polish agriculture that is to give it stability and ensure the proper economic existence of farms.
"Our beef is a very good export product. Polish beef has excellent taste and is in demand on many markets," said Deputy Minister Kołakowski, talking about the role of beef in Polish food exports.
Deputy Minister Kołakowski reminded that Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Great Britain are the most important recipients of our beef in Europe. He also noted that Polish beef meat is in demand on the Middle East markets, and the Far East markets (Chinese, Vietnamese or Filipino) are an opportunity to develop exports.
"Poland is the sixth largest beef producer in the European Union in terms of production," informed the secretary of state.
The deputy minister reminded that through the eco-schemes implemented under the CAP, farmers are encouraged to take action to increase animal welfare.
The role of the Common Agricultural Policy in sustainable transformation was the topic of the panel attended by Secretary of State Rafał Romanowski.
"We need to raise food security in the European Union to a higher level. We must remember how diametrically affected by the geopolitical situation that has been taking place since February 2022," noted Deputy Minister Romanowski.
The secretary of state pointed out that food takes on a very specific value.
"If the food security policy was not properly emphasized in our country, it would become an element of Russia's involvement in many parts of the world, such as in the Middle East or Africa. We must definitely remember this and we must participate, as Poland and as the EU, in building a sense of food security," underlined Deputy Minister Romanowski.
He added that Poland must also remember that since the Russian attack on Ukraine, the European Union has taken on a commitment consisting in the so-called solidarity corridors.
The secretary of state pointed out that the decision of the European Commission regarding the protection of such, which is not effectively implemented, has a huge impact on what is happening in Poland, as well as on what is happening in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania.
“It is a distortion of competition. Not associating it with transit, which was supposed to ensure food security in various parts of the world, where it is expected, creates a specific element for discussion that should take place on the EU forum," said the deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture.
He also pointed out that Poland cannot look at the sense of food security only from the perspective of the EU, but also from the perspective of the countries around the EU.
"Only this guarantees the construction of the internal EU market, which should remain unshakable through the growth of uncontrolled competition. And most importantly, it will allow us to create CAP policy and influence food production in many parts of the world," said Deputy Minister Romanowski.
The secretary of state informed that Poland would be one of the first EU countries to be prepared for the implementation of the National Strategic Plan and added that legislative work was already very advanced.
According to Deputy Minister Romanowski, expectations towards food production in other countries of the world are much lower.
"And here comes the problem, because there are definitely lower costs and our competitiveness will decrease if there is no healthy approach to politics," emphasized the deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Deputy Minister Romanowski reminded that Poland has joined the EU in 2004 and it is already an adult member. Poland has its expectations, its plans, and if it wants to persuade producers to produce quality-oriented food, it must reduce its barriers.
"First of all, we must create a kind of protection against the effects of various crises. Not only such as now, resulting from the effects of the war, but also others," pointed out the deputy minister and pointed out that they must remember about the increasingly frequent adverse weather phenomena, which will also affect their farmers and those from Western Europe.
"Our European consumer must be sure that on store shelves he will have access to food of European standards, and not to food produced in other, lower," stressed Secretary of State Rafał Romanowski. ■