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McConalogue highlights need for close monitoring of fertiliser supplies as impacts of Russian invasion of Ukraine continue to affect agriculture sector

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, today highlighted the need for close monitoring of fertiliser supplies over the coming months as the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine continue to be felt across the agri-food sector.

Speaking ahead of today’s Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers in Luxembourg, Minister McConalogue said:

“The recent European Council conclusions recognised that the supply of fertiliser presents a particular challenge over the coming period. As the current crisis becomes more prolonged, we need to prepare now for 2023. I consider that, in terms of further actions the Commission can take now, greater planning and preparation in relation to the supply of fertiliser is essential. Fertiliser affordability and availability is one of the biggest challenges facing our farmers at present. We should also ensure that global markets continue to function effectively, and that every effort continues to be made to facilitate Ukrainian exports.”

Ministers will also exchange views on the application of EU standards to imported agricultural and agri-food products, following the presentation by the Commission of its report on the matter. Emphasising the need for EU collaboration with global partners, the Minister said: “Any efforts to address these issues must be compatible with the EU’s international trade obligations and must be WTO-compatible. For example, Ireland supports the EU approach of including robust sustainability chapters in new bilateral FTA agreements, which promotes EU standards and has the effect of raising standards globally.”

Ministers will also consider new Commission proposals in relation to geographical indications, and the use of plant protection products in the context of the proposed Regulation on Sustainable Use. The meeting will also include discussions on the state of implementation of the EU common fisheries policy and consultations for fishing opportunities for 2023.