However, Planas has recognized that Spain has “elements of vulnerability” such as corn, where it imports 22% to Ukraine, or the half million tons of sunflower oil it buys. “We are trying to respond to these purchases by facilitating imports to the EU,” he assured, detailing that contacts are already being made to bring raw materials from Argentina and the United States, among other markets.
The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, reiterated this Monday that there will be no food shortages in Spain, after the strong impact that the war in Ukraine, one of the main ‘barns’ in Europe, is having on the sector. agri-food, although there has been progress in that work is being done to import some raw materials from outside the EU in order to have a greater supply.
“It is not a situation, much less one of the most serious, we have a very high level of food supply and it is a source of pride. We have a level of food autonomy that allows me to say that there is no problem of shortages, despite the images that are coming out of hoarding products, which makes no sense”, Planas assured during his participation in the Europa Press Informative Breakfasts .
However, Planas has recognized that Spain has “elements of vulnerability” as is the case of corn, where it imports 22% to Ukraine, or the half million tons of sunflower oil it buys. “We are trying to respond to these purchases by facilitating imports to the EU,” he assured, detailing that contacts are already being made to bring raw materials from Argentina and the United States, among other markets.
Regarding the situation of sunflower oil, where some industries such as candy and canning have warned that they are running out of stock, Planas has assured that he is working on “alternative supplies”, while he has valued and defended the quality of olive oil as its substitute.
Another of the products that is suffering the strong impact of the war in Ukraine is corn, where there are still stocks of between 45 and 60 days in Tarragona. “We are trying to respond to these purchases by facilitating imports to the EU,” he said.
Regarding fertilizers, which are directly linked to the price of gas, he assured that Spain is in a better situation than other countries, since more than 50% of its supply is domestically produced.
Questioned about the increase in energy prices, Planas has acknowledged that the Government is willing to act in this regard, as the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has already advanced, after the informal European council that took place last week in Versailles (France).
Regarding the possibility that the Executive touches the taxation of fuels, Planas has recognized that it is “one of the variables”. “We are in an exceptional moment and we will have to take it into account,” he advanced.
In this way, the head of Agriculture has indicated that a European aid package will be put together that will serve, together with the Government’s “powerful shock plan”, to respond to the problems that are arising after the start of the war.
“It is very important that we use the same energy and determination that we have had to adopt sanctions at the European level for this unfair situation to respond to the problems we have in the agri-food field and offer an effective response,” he stressed.
The Minister of Agriculture has advocated achieving food autonomy in Europe. “The EU is the world’s largest exporter and importer. We have almost everything, but we have identified some bottlenecks, so we have to move towards having our own production.
We are not in danger, we are at a remarkable height and we want to go further. We are not an island in the world and what happens in the rest also concerns us », she stressed.
Temporary exceptions in the CAP
Questioned whether the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is adequate for the current situation that Spain is experiencing, the head of Agriculture has assured “loud and clear” that the “orientation towards a sustainable agri-food production system has no going back”. “This is planet A and there is no planet B,” he stressed.
“Spain has requested certain temporary and singular exceptions in the application of the CAP, but let’s not lose the perspective of the forest, that this CAP has an income support orientation and an environmental orientation that is totally necessary”, he underlined, aware of that sustainable production entails higher costs, so work must be done to “make food supply compatible with environmental objectives”.