Food security in Ukraine is of great concern, particularly due to the deliberate targeting of food storage locations by invading Russian forces. Additionally, countries that rely heavily on cereal imports from Ukraine and Russia (mainly in North Africa and the Middle East) are at a heightened risk of food insecurity due to supply chain disruptions.
In response to this, the European Commission published a Communication on 23 March 2022 which outlined a number of measures being taken to safeguard global food security and support EU farmers and consumers that have been impacted by Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.
At a global level, the Commission is:
- supporting Ukraine in developing a food security strategy to ensure inputs such as cereals, seeds and fertiliser reach farms successfully;
- ensuring that transportation and storage facilities in Ukraine are maintained to allow Ukraine to feed its citizens;
- delivering an EU Emergency Support Programme of €330 million to help secure access to basic goods and services, and help with protection of the population;
- pledging at least €2.5 billion of humanitarian assistance for international cooperation with a nutrition objective for 2021-24;
- continuing to advocate against export restrictions and export bans, as open and well-functioning global supply chains and logistics are essential for global food security.
To support EU farmers, the Commission is:
- distributing €500 million euro in national allocations to directly support farmers most affected by higher input costs and the closure of export markets (EU countries can complement this support up to 200% with national funds);*
- allowing EU countries to pay increased levels of CAP direct payments in advance, to address cash-flow difficulties currently faced by farmers;
- introducing market safety net measures to support the pigmeat sector in light of the particularly difficult situation it finds itself in;
- granting an exceptional and temporary derogation to allow the production of crops on land set aside within the EU, while maintaining full greening payments for farmers;
- allowing specific flexibilities to import requirements on animal feed to alleviate pressure on the feed market;
- using the newly established EFSCM to carry out a thorough mapping of risks and vulnerabilities in the EU supply chain, followed by recommendations and appropriate mitigation measures;
- proposing a new, self-standing Temporary Crisis Framework that would also cover farmers, fertiliser producers and the fisheries sector.
* On 7 July 2022, the Commission published the overview of how Member States have been using and distributing this aid. This was based on notifications sent by Member States at the end of June. This information is available in the documents section of this page.
Monitoring stocks of agricultural commodities
On 20 May 2022, the Commission adopted a decision to gather monthly data on various agricultural commodities in the EU. On a monthly basis, EU countries will have to notify the Commission of the level of stocks of cereals, oilseeds, rice and certified seeds of these products held by relevant producers, wholesalers and operators. The Commission will publish the notifications to ensure market transparency and to give a timely and accurate picture of the availability of essential commodities for food and feed.
Separately, as part of its increased monitoring of agricultural markets impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Commission has created a new dashboard to provide statistics on the economic consequences of the invasion for farmers and food consumers, both in the EU and around the world. This includes information relating to input and output prices, production and stocks, and international trade.
Exceptional measure to support farmers impacted by increase in input prices
On 20 May 2022, the Commission also proposed an exceptional measure to support EU farmers impacted by the increase in input prices. The measure, funded by the European agricultural fund for rural development (EAFRD), will allow EU countries to make a one off payment to farmers and agri-food businesses affected by increases in input costs such as feed and fertilisers.
This will allow EU countries to use up to 5% of their EAFRD budget for 2021-22 for direct support to farmers and SMEs active in the processing, marketing or development of agricultural products. Selected farmers and SMEs could receive up to €15 000 and €100 000 respectively.