In response to the brutal aggression against Ukraine and its people, the European Commission has adopted a fifth package of restrictive measures against Russia. Together with the four previous packages, these sanctions will further contribute to ramping up economic pressure on the Kremlin and cripple its ability to finance its invasion of Ukraine. These include targeted export bans and the extending import bans.
A new high-protein microalgae strain developed by researchers has now been scaled up by Portuguese microalgae producer Allmicroalgae Natural Products as part of the EU-funded ProFuture project. The new Chlorella strain could be used to make vegan food products that not only are more nutritional but also taste better.
EU Green Week is an annual opportunity to debate European environmental policy with policymakers, leading environmentalists and stakeholders from Europe and beyond. This year's edition focuses on the European Green Deal - the EU’s sustainable and transformative growth strategy for a resource-efficient and climate-neutral Europe by 2050. EU Green Week 2022 will take place from 30 May to 5 June 2022.
Biostimulants, both natural products and micro-organisms, are novel and increasingly available, but not yet fully understood. INBIOS is an Operational Group from Italy which aims to test these products in combination with decision-support tool models and innovative agricultural cropping systems. The adoption of these complementary strategies should enhance the natural defences of plants and reduce the use of plant protection products, and increase resistance to water stress and other effects of climate change.
MINAGRIS, a new Horizon 2020 project, will set up 11 case studies across Europe to look at the impacts of plastics on soil health and agricultural productivity. The project will then provide farmers and other stakeholders tools and recommendations for sustainable use of plastic in agriculture at the farm and field levels to ensure safe and economically viable food systems in Europe.
The Commission has decided to activate new crisis measures to support the fishery and aquaculture sectors in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The crisis mechanism will bring immediate relief to operators of the fishery, aquaculture and seafood processing sectors through financial compensation for their economic losses and additional costs. It will enable Member States to grant financial compensation to operators for income foregone due to the current market disruption, as well as ‘storage aid' to producer organisations.
Europe is suffering from a shortage of protein for animal feed. The SYLFEED project innovative method creates protein-rich fish feed from wood by-products.Europe has been importing up to 80 % of the protein used in animal feed since the 1970s. For this reason, the two main protein sources used in fish farming – fish meal and soy – present sustainability issues. To help feed its human population, Europe needs alternative and local sources of protein for fish farming and single-cell protein could be the solution.
The European Commission has presented a range of short-term and medium-term actions to enhance global food security and to support farmers and consumers in the EU in light of rising food prices and input costs, such as energy and fertilisers. Moreover, the Commission is committed to taking all necessary measures to ensure that the EU, as a net food exporter and top agri-food producer, contributes to global food security, particularly in Ukraine.
In light of the dire food security situation and high food prices, after two years of COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Commission is stepping up its support to the transformation of food systems by actively engaging in eight global Coalitions for Action. These coalitions are: Food is never waste, Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems for Children & all, School Meals Coalition, Aquatic and Blue Foods, Agro-ecology, Zero Hunger, Fighting food crises along the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus and Sustainable Productivity Growth.
The total value of EU agri-food trade reached a record €328.1 billion in 2021, a 7% increase year on year. This resulted in a trade surplus of €67.9 billion, representing an increase of 8% compared to 2020. High-value products such as wine, spirits and liqueurs, and chocolate and confectionery performed strongly, while products more directly related to farm income such as pigmeat, dairy products and wheat were affected by reductions in export values and performed less strongly.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Resilience Partners, a private debt firm, have partnered to provide financing support and flexibility to high-growth Spanish and European SMEs. In view of the large demand from companies with financial needs, the Resilience Partners Fund II, S.C.A., SICAR has achieved a first close and expects to mobilise a total of €150-200 million in financing to these companies.
The EC has approved under EU State aid rules Spain's map for granting regional aid within the framework of the revised Regional aid Guidelines ('RAG'). The revised RAG, enable Member States to support the least favoured European regions in catching up and to reduce disparities in terms of economic well-being, income and unemployment. They also provide increased possibilities to support regions facing transition or structural challenges such as depopulation, to contribute fully to the green and digital transitions.