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Conference on New Breeding Techniques with MEP Paolo de Castro
Agriculture can innovate, give us the means to do so!

On 13th April 2021, under the patronage of MEP Paolo de Castro, the Agriculture & Progress platform hosted a conference on Innovative Breeding Techniques. The debate highlighted the needs of the agricultural sector to have effective tools at its disposal in order to face a rising number of pests and diseases, and at the same time to reduce the use of Plant Protection Products. The debate showcased the efforts made by the agricultural community to comply with Green Deal objectives whilst remaining a player in an overcompetitive global agricultural sector. Speakers highlighted the need to establish a clear legal distinction between GMOs and New Breeding Techniques (NBTs), and put emphasis on the need to have access to innovation through biotechnologies.

The webinar was attended by more than 100 people, proving the issues importance. You can find the Agriculture & Progress Platform’s position paper here.

Download the press release. 

Please find the presentation used during the event here.

#AgriProgressWebinar

Innovative Breeding Techniques: The crucial role of sustainable farming to achieve the Green Deal ambitions on 13 April

The Agriculture & Progress organized an online conference “Innovative Breeding Techniques: The crucial role of sustainable farming to achieve the Green Deal ambitions“, under the patronage of MEP Paolo De Castro on Tuesday, 13th April from 15h to 16h CEST.

The agricultural community in the EU faces several challenges: produce sufficiently for a growing population, produce sustainably to address environmental and climate change issues, and ensure competitiveness in a sector that is exposed to international markets whilst generating a decent income for farmers. To face these inevitable challenges, the development of New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) is crucial not only for the agricultural community but also for the downstream industry chain and ultimately for the consumer.

The ECJ ruling on Case C-528/16 clarifying the legal status of mutagenesis finds that mutagenesis leads a priori to products subject to EU GMO legislation. The European Commission has been tasked by the Council of the EU to conduct a study on NBTs in the light of this ruling by 30 April 2021 and submit a proposal, if appropriate, accompanied by an impact assessment.

This provides an important backdrop to continue and advance discussion between decision-makers and stakeholders on this important issue, in view of developing an adapted and workable regulatory framework that addresses the specificities of NBTs. This is a complex and lengthy process, requiring substantial investments and a close cooperation between scientists and the farming community. But what is needed to make this cooperation – and by extension NBT use- successful is a solid regulatory framework developed at EU level. Only in this way can the EU’s climate and environmental and healthy food ambitions be accomplished.

This workshop aims to provide a correct and sound understanding of NBT’s practical use and wishes to stimulate the debate on the way forward from a political perspective.

Developing and supporting New Breeding Techniques: a key priority for the Agriculture and Progress Platform

The agricultural community in the EU faces several challenges: produce sufficiently for a growing population, produce sustainably to address environmental and climate change issues, and ensure competitiveness in a sector that is exposed to international markets whilst generating a decent income for farmers. To face these inevitable challenges, the development of New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) is crucial not only for the agricultural community but also for the downstream industry chain and ultimately for the consumer.

The Agriculture and Progress Platform has duly taken note of the ECJ ruling on Case C-528/16 clarifying the legal status of mutagenesis. The ruling finds that mutagenesis leads a priori to products subject to EU GMO legislation. Member States can legislate the issue further, which may lead to diverging rules throughout Europe. We therefore believe that the consequences of this ruling could be particularly detrimental for farmers, including maize and beet growers, and the downstream production chain. The European Commission has been tasked by the Council of the EU to conduct a study on NBTs in light of this ruling by 30 April 2021 and submit a proposal, if appropriate, accompanied by an impact assessment.

A&P Press Release following webinar on 13/11 on Carbon Farming

Press Release

Turning carbon farming into a reality: Discussion on carbon farming has been bringing more and more clarity in the understanding and design of schemes in favour of the concept, but how can we bring it to reality?

On 13th of November 2020, the Agriculture & Progress Platform held a webinar on “Carbon farming – How to bring this innovative concept to life” under the patronage of MEP Irène Tolleret. Speakers included Nicola Di Virgilio from DG Agriculture of the European Commission, WWF Germany director Dr Rolf Sommer and Edouard Lanckriet from Agrosolutions.

With new climatic targets for 2030 and an objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% compared to 1990, the EU has been zooming in on the agriculture sector. As the Green Deal is moving forward, it is important to remember that despite being responsible for more than 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, we should not underestimate the role played by the agricultural system in the preservation of soil.

Farmers are the solution to fight against climate change, not the problem” says MEP Irène Tolleret. Carbon farming can be a tool for farmers to participate in a greener world, despite not being a miracle cure. There is however a need for the EU to provide farmers with strong support and to encourage carbon farming. Carbon farming is but one of the concepts that may bring solidity to a Green EU, but for it to become a reality, concrete and extensive policy measures are needed.

The topic proved to be very much in line with current debates, with over 150 interested participants attending.

Please watch a video summarizing the event here and watch the full event here.

Download the full report of the webinar. 

Agriculture & Progress announces today its newest supporting partner CEETTAR

The European Confederation of Agricultural, Rural and Forestry Contractors established in 1961, represents about 150,000 companies and nearly 600,000 workers. It aims to represent the interests of land-based contractors in Europe.

We are very happy to be welcoming CEETTAR as an addition to our platform, particularly as we are trying to build bridges across the agricultural spectrum from European farmers, to operators, employees and consumers.

It is indeed increasingly important that the role and the impact of the platform be emphasised and grow stronger towards achieving our mission which is to join forces for sustainable agricultural production by means of educating, informing and presenting innovative ways to achieve this goal.

As a first contribution to this platform, CEETTAR is publishing its first article on a topic which is of great interest to its members and that advocates for innovative solutions in the agricultural economy.

Agriculture & Progress contribution on Commission report on the Evaluation of the PPP and MRL Regulations

Alongside the Farm-to-Fork Strategy, the Commission published in May 2020 its REFIT report of the PPP and MRL Regulations aimed at assessing whether the Regulations are still fit for purpose. The report outlines the main findings of the evaluation regarding the implementation and functioning of both Regulations in all Member State and proposes relevant actions moving forward.

07.2020 APP Contribution RISE Foundation report

Agriculture & Progress perspective on the RISE Foundation Report
Crop protection & the EU food system: Where are they going?

Earlier this year, the RISE Foundation published its report on the future of crop protection and the EU food system overall. This topic is the centrepiece of discussions not only at EU but also at international level; the challenge of the decade or the century if you will. The debate is pivotal for decision-makers, stakeholders and civil society as a whole.

Seed imports from Ukraine, a cheap shot for European farmers

The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated the need for the EU to maintain control over its strategic production sectors. This includes seeds. However, on 7 April, the Commission – on the initiative of DG SANTE – published an “equivalence” proposal allowing seeds produced in Ukraine to be sold on the European market at a dumped price, despite such seeds not being subject to the same phytosanitary rules as EU producers.

The Agriculture & Progress Platform’s contribution to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030

Nature and agriculture are intrinsically linked and reinforce each other’s well-being. The agricultural community cannot prosper and deliver quality food if biodiversity is lost, if soils erode and deteriorate and if they suffer the direct consequences of climate change, such as drought for example.

Illustration, logo Agriculture & Progress with cartoon of a sugar beet, a maize cob, two farmers, a tractor and a consummer all to be considered in the Farm to Fork Strategy

Agriculture & Progress’s contribution to the Roadmap on the Farm-to-Fork Strategy.

At the heart of the debate

The agricultural community in the EU faces several challenges: produce sufficiently for a growing population, produce sustainably to address environmental and climate change issues, ensure competitiveness in a sector that is exposed to international markets and generate a decent income.

Logo Agriculture & Progress

Agriculture & Progress’s Conference #2 on Innovative Breeding Techniques cancelled due to European Parliament’s restriction.

The European Parliament has decided that all events taking place in its premises will be cancelled for the foreseeable future due to the CORVID-19 virus.

The event of Tuesday March 3rd on Innovative Breeding Techniques is therefore cancelled.

We will keep you informed of new developments regarding a new date.

EP Conference #2: Innovative Breeding Techniques – The crucial role of sustainable farming to achieve the Green Deal ambitions

The Agriculture & Progress Platform kindly invites you to the Conference on Innovative Breeding Techniques: The crucial role of sustainable farming to achieve the Green Deal ambitions.

With the patronage of MEP Paolo De Castro, this workshop aims to provide a correct and sound understanding of NGT’s practical use and wishes to stimulate the debate on the way forward from a political perspective.

The event will take place on 3 March 2020, from 14:30h to 16:30h at the European Parliament (Room ASP 3H1).

Vicky Marissen, Céline Duroc, Frank Laborde, MEP Anne Sander, Alex Krick & Alexandre Quillet, speakers during Agriculture & Progess's conference at the European Parliament on 23rd of January 2020

Press Release
Breakfast conference on Integrated Pest Management & Plant Protection. Matching ambition, realism and innovation in the Farm-to-Fork strategy

On 23 January 2020, under the patronage of MEP Anne Sander, the Agriculture & Progress Platform hosted a breakfast event in the European Parliament on Integrated Pest Management and Plant Protection.

Logo Agriculture & Progress

A platform again? No, a platform at last!

The Agriculture & Progress platform brings together agricultural producers and the first processing food industry to promote sustainable agricultural production. Its founding members, CIBE, CEFS and CEPM have joined forces to promote this sustainable approach to institutions in the beet-sugar-corn sectors and to communicate with civil society.

EU flag in the wind

Agriculture & Progress Memorandum post EP elections 2019

The agricultural community in the EU faces several challenges: produce sufficiently for a growing population, produce sustainably to address environmental and climate change issues, ensure competitiveness in a sector that is exposed to international markets and generate a decent income.

Close-up of a beet on a field

Executive summary ‘Good Practices: Plant Protection’

Sugar beet, like many other crops produced on European soil, is exposed to weather conditions, competition from weeds, damage from pests and diseases which make its cultivation challenging. To guarantee optimum quality and yield of the crop, to ensure farmers’ incomes, to secure raw materials for factories and to provide safe and good quality products to consumers, the crop needs to be protected.

young plants growing a field

Developing and supporting New Breeding Techniques a key priority for the Agriculture and Progress Platform

The agricultural community in the EU faces several challenges: produce sufficiently for a growing population, produce sustainably to address environmental and climate change issues, ensure competitiveness in a sector that is exposed to international markets whilst generating a decent income.