Portugal calls for a ‘food contingency plan’ – EURACTIV.com

Portugal calls for a ‘food contingency plan’ – EURACTIV.com

The Portuguese government presented its proposal for a contingency plan to prevent risks linked to food supply on the European market in crises to the European Commission.

The government has called for the construction of “a contingency plan” to know and more effectively prevent “food supply risks of the European internal market in crisis situations,” the document “Priorities of Portugal for the Commission’s 2023 Work Programme,” seen by EURACTIV’s media partner Lusa.

In the document, Lisbon requests that “special attention” be paid to food safety and welfare in agriculture and fisheries. For example, it calls for a review of the legislation currently in force, including transport and slaughter.

The government is also proposing to set targets for reducing food waste and support the supply of healthy and affordable food in establishments open to the public, such as school canteens, hospitals or retirement homes. The National Confederation of Agriculture (CNA) has asked the government to support the purchase of national products for public canteens, while national farmers, through the reLOCALiza project, aim for 30% of products consumed in canteens to be from local and family agriculture.

The government is also asking the Commission to organise a debate on the management of fishery resources and the external dependence of the EU “for the food supply of fishery products, in the framework of a war in Europe”.

On transport, Portugal is suggesting increasing support for public transport projects, a pan-European high-speed road and freight network.

Added to this is the promotion of multimodal digital mobility services, the transition to electric mobility, as well as resources for the EU Aviation Safety Agency “to act as a performance review body for the Single European Sky”, a programme that wants to organise the airspace, increasing its capacity to accommodate flights, with high levels of safety.

Proposals on finance include the implementation of the digital euro, the revision of the VAT directive and the Council regulation on administrative cooperation in the field of VAT.

Portugal also wants to reopen the debate on the concept of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), avoid legal obligations and administrative burdens that imply extra costs for businesses, “in particular, reduce information obligations that divert resources from SMEs, which should be geared towards their productivity and competitiveness.”

European enterprise-related policies should take into account the “specific characteristics and vulnerabilities” of these companies, in particular with regard to sustainable transition and digitalisation.

The report also calls for the implementation of the Industrial Strategy for Europe, the strengthening of the fight against the black market economy and of traceability in the value creation chains of products consumed in the European Union, the review of waste classification and of the principles of the circular economy and the REACH regulation, “particularly with a view to simplifying the legal and administrative procedures and burdens arising from the regulation”.

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