EDA welcomes Slovenian presidency of EU

As of today (1 July 2021), Slovenia assumes the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. Slovenia’s elected slogan to represent its upcoming EU presidency is: Together. Resilient. Europe. During its tenure, Slovenian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MAFF), Jože Podgoršek says it will focus on finalising CAP reform, and continuing communication on the contingency plan to ensure food supply and food security. Podgoršek says, “The recent emergency situation due to Covid-19 has reminded us about the strategic importance of food supply in the EU.”

Podgoršek also plans to address sustainable food production in a broader sense. This includes the long- term vision for rural areas, measures for restoring biodiversity, ensuring access to safe and quality food, and addressing the issue of global hunger. Slovenia intends to continue planned activities deriving from the European Green Deal and particularly the Farm to Fork Strategy. In addition, Podgoršek plans to adopt Council Conclusions on the Organic Farming Action Plan.

On the food safety front, Slovenia will “dedicate utmost attention and care to ensuring consumer safety in nutrition, and increase attention in ensuring the traceability, indication of origin, and effective inspection and control,” it says.

For its part, the European Dairy Association (EDA) says, “Not only do we embrace the selected ‘leitmotiv’, but we are fully aligned with it, since it conveys what the EU dairy industry has accomplished and will keep on achieving during these difficult times: to deliver with resilience for a united Europe. Similarly, its new motto line, ‘Uniting dairy excellence and ambition’, represents the shared common purpose of the European lactosphere: supplying nutritious and healthy milk and dairy products of excellence in quality, in safety and in taste.

“Together we show unity when our single market, one of the founding principles of our union, is under threat. During the pandemic, we have seen a tendency to ramp up border lines in many parts of Europe. When economic fractures jeopardise our European project, the EU milk and dairy sector shows that only together and in a functioning Single Market we can overcome the challenges,” the EDA states.

“Our dairy supply chains have proved resilient, from the milk collection to the supermarkets, even in a crisis of the magnitude of the coronavirus pandemic. When the pandemic started to hit hard and large parts of the economy had come to a sudden still, we kept operations running and made every single effort to maintain Europe’s fridges and shelves stocked with nutritious, healthy and affordable dairy products.

“For us, the European Union is far more than a single market: milk and dairy are with no doubt the most prominent examples of Europe’s culinary treasures and an important part of our European cultural heritage. Our sector builds bridges among regions and serves as the thriving force for rural environments, combining the most sophisticated traditions with state-of-the-art and sustainable production techniques. It is also a symbol of Europe’s identity, bringing pride not only to the people working in the lactosphere – it is part of our way of life.

“Four Slovenian cheeses have joined so far the elysium of our iconic European cheese excellence and are registered as protected designation of origin (PDO), safeguarding regional traditions and local cow breeds, as well as highlighting that cheese excellence is in our EU dairy genes all across the union.

“The EU dairy sector is resilient, united, and committed to work on behalf of all Europeans. During this upcoming Slovenian EU presidency, we will keep on helping pave the way towards a successful recovery and a prosperous future for Europe.”

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