Sector News

Food diplomacy: EU and UN to fight Russia with agricultural aid

April 16, 2022
Consumer Packaged Goods

EU officials are working with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) to counter the growing impact of ingredient and fertilizer shortages in vulnerable areas like the MENA region and Balkans – something blamed on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Leaders fear that the decimation of grain production and inflation of fuel prices will push countries like Egypt and Lebanon, which rely heavily on imported produce, into starvation and further political turmoil.

This week, the EU’s commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarčič, met with the UN to form strategies that could prevent these scenarios.

“The rising food prices are putting the most vulnerable people across the globe in an even worse situation. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine increases the pressure on food systems and threatens millions worldwide with hunger. We are now at a turning point, and urgent action is required,” remarks Lenarčič.

“The EU is committed to strengthening our partnership with the UN to ensure that we leave no one behind and continue to provide humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable while keeping our longer-term engagement to address the root causes of food crises.”

Aid package
Political allegations between Russia and the EU are seeing blame for the global food crisis exchanged. The Kremlin says sanctions are destroying supply chains and raising prices beyond affordability, and Western leaders point to Russian bombings of storage facilities in Ukraine.

To avoid resentment building against the West, the EU is announcing it will provide €225 million (US$244 million) in aid to the MENA region.

Around half of this will be sent to Egypt, while Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and the Palestinian Authority are to receive emergency funds between €15 and €25 million (US$16.2 million and US$27.1 million) each.

Another €300 million (US$324.8 million) in agricultural support is to be provided to Western Balkan countries. Serbia is currently considered a concern for the EU because of intensive Russian communications there, EU officials say.

FARM strategy
A key strategy discussed by the EU and UN is the French Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) initiative, which would implement three key diplomatic pillars to ease food shortages globally:

  • A trade pillar to ease tensions in agricultural markets, guarantee full transparency on flows and stocks and combat “unjustified” trade barriers.
  • A solidarity pillar to support Ukraine’s agricultural capabilities, ensure access to agricultural commodities at reasonable prices in the countries most affected, and prepare to alleviate the war’s effects on the level of agricultural production.
  • A production pillar to strengthen agricultural capabilities sustainably in the countries most affected.

As of September 2021, 161 million people were facing acute food insecurity worldwide. The UN estimates that an additional 8 to 13 million people globally could become undernourished due to the war in Ukraine. Food prices jumped nearly 13% in March this year.

By Louis Gore-Langton

Source: foodingredientsfirst.com

comments closed

Related News

June 8, 2024

Nomad Foods names Ruben Baldew as next Finance Chief

Consumer Packaged Goods

Frozen food maker Nomad Foods has appointed Ruben Baldew as its new chief financial officer, effective 17 June 2024. Baldew will succeed Samy Zekhout, who has stepped down to explore other opportunities outside of Nomad Foods. Zekhout will remain with the company until 31 July to ensure a smooth transition of duties, the Birds Eye maker noted.

June 8, 2024

Danish Crown CEO Jais Valeur to step down

Consumer Packaged Goods

Danish Crown has accelerated the search process for a new chief executive following the announcement by current CEO Jais Valeur that he intends to step down from his role. Valeur, who joined the company as CEO in 2015, will remain in his position until a replacement is found “to ensure no momentum is lost during the recruitment process,” Danish Crown explained.

June 8, 2024

Heineken achieves milestone with first European regenerative barley harvest

Consumer Packaged Goods

Heineken has achieved a significant milestone with the completion of its first large-scale regenerative agriculture barley harvest in Europe. The initiative, developed through Heineken’s Transitions programme and in collaboration with French cooperative Vivescia and its malt subsidiary Malteurop, represents the company’s first foray into regenerative farming at scale.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach