TALLINN - The state and Estonian businesses need to cooperate and jointly seek out solutions fostering sustainable production in agriculture and food industry, the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce said.
"Environmental conservation is taking on an increasingly important role in agriculture and food production. Producers understand that it is only with prudent management that we can ensure the fertility of the soil and the good condition of the resources required for food production, such as water and air," chairman of the supervisory board of the Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce Olav Kreen said in a press release.
Kreen noted that the environmental policy so far has excessively relied on orders and prohibitions, which should instead be replaced with comprehensible common goals and increased strategic cooperation.
"A reasonable balance must be found between the needs and opportunities relating to production and environmental protection while keeping in mind that food production is to face increasing environmental challenges, such as climate change, conservation of biodiversity, improving the quality of water and air, sustainable use of resources, promoting the principles of circular economy and so on," Kreen said.
Heads of the Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce on Tuesday met with Minister of the Environment Rene Kokk. Members of the industry body highlighted at the meeting that Estonia's farmland and forest are important resources, the sustainable use of which grants the state an opportunity to develop a bio-economy.
Kreen and his colleagues said that bio-economy has an important role in increasing environmental protection as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on non-renewable natural resources.
Issues discussed at the meeting on Tuesday included problems relating to the waste management package, increase in state fees, eliminating integrated permits in cattle farming, major investments in agriculture aimed at meeting the objectives in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and bottlenecks relating to the implementation of the Water Act.