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Commission reports on development of #PlantProteins in EU

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The European Commission has adopted its report on the development of plant proteins in the European Union. The report reviews the supply and demand situation for plant proteins (such as rapeseed, sunflower seeds or lentils) in the EU and explores ways in which to further develop their production in an economically and environmentally sound way.

Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan said: "Plant protein is an essential component of our European agri-food sector, which produces food and drink to the highest standards in the world. However, due to a variety of market and climatic factors, European protein crop production is not sufficient to cover the growing demand. In that regard, I also want to acknowledge the strong interest of the European Parliament in further supporting protein production in Europe. This report will serve as an important reference point for an EU-wide debate on how to chart a sustainable way forward, which cannot be done by the European Commission alone and requires the active input of all stakeholders."

The report presents a number of existing policy instruments and new policy proposals which can contribute to realise the economic and environmental potential of protein plants in the EU. These include:

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  • Supporting farmers growing plant proteins via the proposed future CAP, by including them in national CAP strategic plans, in particular through rewarding the benefits of legumes for environment and climate objectives through eco-schemes and environmental/climate management commitments under rural development programmes; mobilizing rural development support e.g. to stimulate investments and cooperation along the food chain; coupled income support;
  • boosting competitiveness through research & innovation from EU and member states' research programmes and the doubling of the budget of the Horizon Europe programme for 2021-2027;
  • improving market analysis and transparency through better monitoring tools;
  • promoting the benefits of plant protein for nutrition, health, climate and environment with the support of the Commission's promotion programme, amounting to close to €200 million in 2019, and;
  • increased sharing of knowledge/best practice in supply chain management and sustainable agronomic practices through a dedicated online platform for example.

The state of play of plant proteins in the EU

There is a high demand for plant proteins in Europe, amounting to around 27 million tonnes of crude protein in 2016/2017 and the EU's self-sufficiency rate varies substantially depending on the source (79% for rapeseed and 5% for soya, for example). As a consequence, the EU imports annually around 17 million tonnes of crude protein of which 13 million are soya based. However, there are positive trends: the soya area in the EU has doubled to almost one million hectares since the CAP reform in 2013. Similarly, in the case of pulses (field peas, faba beans, lentils, chickpeas), production has almost tripled in the EU since 2013.

While animal feed remains the most important outlet (93%), the market for plant proteins has experienced considerable segmentation, with demand in high-value feed and food sectors growing. The food market for plant proteins is seeing double-digit growth, driven by demand for meat and dairy alternatives.

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Background

This report is intended to meet the Commission's commitment to review the supply and demand situation for plant proteins in the EU and to explore possibilities to further develop their production in an economically and environmentally sound way.

In addition, the European Parliament adopted a report in April 2018 calling for a European strategy to promote European protein crops.

More information

Report on the development of plant proteins in Europe

Programme of the 2018 conference on plant proteins in Europe

European Central Bank (ECB)

ECB's Lagarde keeps door open to higher inflation

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Inflation in the eurozone could exceed the European Central Bank's already raised projections but there are few signs of this already happening, ECB President Christine Lagarde (pictured) said on Monday (27 September), writes Balazs Koranyi, Reuters.

"While inflation could prove weaker than foreseen if economic activity were to be affected by a renewed tightening of restrictions, there are some factors that could lead to stronger price pressures than are currently expected," she told lawmakers at the European Parliament.

"But we are seeing limited signs of this risk so far, which means that our baseline scenario continues to foresee inflation remaining below our target over the medium term," she added.

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European Commission

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €231 million in pre-financing to Slovenia

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The European Commission has disbursed €231 million to Slovenia in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's grant allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Slovenia's recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Slovenia's recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €2.5 billion in total, consisting of €1.8bn in grants and €705m in loans, over the lifetime of its plan. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80 billion in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU.

The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide €800bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states. The Slovenian plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

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Cyprus

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €157 million in pre-financing to Cyprus

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The European Commission has disbursed €157 million to Cyprus in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's financial allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €1.2 billion in total over the lifetime of its plan, with €1 billion provided in grants and €200m in loans. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80bn in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU. Part of NextGenerationEU, the RRF will provide €723.8bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states.

The Cypriot plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

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