RIGA - In order to reduce the negative impact of the war in Ukraine on food prices, Europe should increase food productions and consider a possibility to postpone certain environmental requirements and biofuel additives, said European Commission's Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis (New Unity) in an interview with LETA.
He said that the European Commission has made an assessment on food supply security and concluded that the EU will not face food supply problems because the EU is able to sustain itself with the basic food products. However, a number of development countries might face food supply problems, therefore it should be considered how to help these countries. At the same time, the EU might face the negative social consequences from the growing food prices.
The European Commission proposes to increase food production this year, and postponing in a short term certain environmental requirements, for example, grow food crops on fallow lands.
"There are strict EU requirements in all these aspects and we propose to stepping back. Also, we call on member states to consider the mandatory biofuel additives. As we know, the first stage biofuel has not ensured any seriously positive effect, and now we should consider how to use farmlands for food crops instead of fuel," said Dombrovskis.
"We call on member states to assess, how prioritary biofuel additives are, and is it not more useful to use farmlands for growing food to reduce the pressure on food prices. The final decision is up to each member states," said Dombrovskis.
Also, he said that it is the decision of each member state to reduce value added tax (VAT) on food products. "It is the choice of each member state to provide targeted support to those groups of residents who need it or go for overall reduction of the tax rate," he said.
As reported, Russia's attack on Ukraine and the following economic sanction have caused a steep inflation, especially on food prices because Ukraine and Russia are large exporters of grain and other food products. Energy resource and fertilizer prices have also risen steeply.