US and EU launch joint collaborative platform on agriculture

Today in Brussels, EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that they have created a transatlantic collaborative platform on agriculture designed to address challenges. global challenges of sustainability and climate change.

In a joint statement, Wojciechowski and Vilsack said: “International collaboration to address climate change and foster sustainability is paramount to alleviating the harsh and challenging future that awaits us as a global society. Climate change is already affecting the livelihoods of our farmers in deep and profound ways, ranging from extreme weather volatility to severe drought, flooding, wildfires and other catastrophic events that threaten our cities and towns. our communities. We must rise to the challenge.

“Today we begin a new chapter in EU-US collaboration with a new platform enabling the US Department of Agriculture and the EU’s Agriculture and Rural Development Branch to ” exchange knowledge and information, and promote mutual understanding and trust, as we work together to address global challenges and achieve common goals.

“We reaffirm our mutual commitment to sustainable and climate-smart agricultural production, recognizing that we are both engaged in multiple effective ways to achieve mutually desired results.

“We believe that science and innovation will bring more sustainable agriculture. We must work together to design systems and solutions that are good for agricultural producers, good for consumers, good for businesses, good for our communities and good for our planet. This includes fair and open markets at local, regional and international levels that strengthen food security and sustainable food systems.

“The European Union and the United States have made a global commitment to improved and sustainable production, the reduction of poverty and hunger, the protection of our environment and the fight against climate change. This transformational initiative provides us with a platform to work cooperatively towards these goals. “

The European Commission has also published the text of a speech in which Wojciechowski welcomed Vilsack.

In the speech, the European commissioner said that the differences between European and American agriculture “often obscure what we have in common”.

He cited the following examples of similarities:

▪ “Maybe some Europeans in the audience don’t realize that in the US the average suckler herd size is around 50 cows and half of the producers have less than 20 cows.

▪ US farmers might be surprised to learn that a large part of EU agricultural production is concentrated on farms larger than the US average.

▪ The Brussels public will be familiar with the discussions on depopulation and the lack of digital connectivity in rural areas. I understand these are pressing issues in the United States as well. “

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