European Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development, Mr Phil Hogan, gave the keynote speech on his vision on how to keep the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) fit for the challenges of the 21st Century through a process of simplification and modernisation. On key priorities he stated: “We must foster a smart and resilient agricultural sector by supporting viable farm incomes, increasing competitiveness and encouraging greater use of risk management tools while improving farmers’ position in the food chain. We need to enhance environmental sustainability and climate resilience”. Quoting the FEFAC Vision 2030 paper, Hogan highlighted the importance of upholding consistency at EU level between the legal frameworks dealing with CAP, climate change and the circular economy, which would allow for the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of the CAP to be achieved in conjunction.
In a panel debate with newly elected FEFAC President Nick Major, Hogan announced his intention to “bring forward work on a European Protein Strategy” as part of future CAP reform. Major called for creating a win-win scenario for the EU feed and livestock sector as laid down in the FEFAC position on the CAP post 2020. Copa-Cogeca Secretary General Pekka Pesonen stressed the need for the EU feed and food chain to promote EU produced food both on global and internal markets. EDA (European Dairy Association) President Michel Nalet recognised the strategic importance of protein feed supplies to dairy farmers. Fernando Antunez, President of the Spanish Feed Industry Federation (CESFAC) called for greater investment in research and innovation in animal nutrition precision feeding.
The Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Mrs Isabel Garcia Tejerina, and the Portuguese Secretary of State for Agriculture & Food, Mr Luís Medeiros Vieira, both stressed the supporting role of the feed industry to increase circular economies at livestock farms. The Congress also included sessions on the contribution of animal nutrition science in the fight against AMR, the use of social media to improve the image of the livestock sector, the role of compound feed production as drivers of resource efficiency in the food chain and the work progress being made on the sourcing of sustainable raw materials.