On the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its implications for EU agriculture
On the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its implications for EU agriculture

The entire European farming community is considering the development of the conflict in Ukraine with deep sorrow. At last week's Copa and Cogeca Praesidia meetings all members expressed their solidarity with the Ukrainian people, with special thoughts going to our fellow farmers and agri-cooperative colleagues in these difficult times. Our solidarity doesn't stop at words, Copa and Cogeca will put in place concrete actions in the coming days and weeks following the evolution of the conflict.

In times of war the focus on food security becomes of critical importance and it is essential to take the necessary steps early on to ensure that food supplies continue reaching those most affected, in the Ukraine and globally. This is the moment to further strengthen a united European and international cooperation.

The destabilisation of Ukraine by the Russian invasion has already triggered important global consequences. Russians and Ukrainians are key international agricultural exporters. Ukraine is the EU's fourth biggest external food supplier and provides the EU with a quarter of its cereal and vegetable oil imports, including nearly half of its maize.

Thus, while the issue of energy supply is now clearly on everyone's mind and lips, agriculture is just as strategically important. For the EU's farming community, which has demonstrated both a key role and resilience during the pandemic, this crisis comes on top of the Covid one and the sharp price increases of all major agricultural inputs (i.e. energy, feed, fertilisers) in recent months.

To keep a strong and peaceful Europe, safeguarding food security and supply chains is fundamental. This is a lesson we have learned from the founding fathers of Europe. In the coming days and weeks, while primarily focusing on the ongoing conflict resolution, the EU decisions makers must also consider its impact on key economic sectors. European agriculture is a central pillar of our strategic autonomy. EU decision makers must act decisively and swiftly to preserve it.

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