The President of the Chamber of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania visited the North American European Union Congress

The European Union (EU) and North American Farmers Congress was held in Prince Edward Island, Canada, September 12-14.  The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), in cooperation with COPA-COGECA, the largest organization uniting European farmers and cooperatives, and the American Farm Bureau organized a congress where the most pressing agricultural issues for both continents were discussed. The president of the Chamber of Agriculture of Lithuania (LAC), who participated in the conference, Dr. Arūnas Svitojus emphasized that farmers on both sides of the Atlantic face similar problems that must be solved together.

Forum for building productive and resilient food chains 

The EU-North America Farmers’ Congress is a twice a year event that brings together farm leaders from the European Union and North America. These meetings are designed to discuss pressing issues affecting agriculture and for farmers and their representatives to collaborate and share ideas to find solutions. About 280 representatives from EU member states, as well as from Canada, Mexico and the United States of America (USA) participated in this meeting.

The congress focused on the most pressing issues in agriculture: global challenges, agriculture and world trade, responding to market and consumer trends, food security and resilience in the agricultural system. Farmers on both sides of the Atlantic face similar pressures from climate change, high production costs, labour shortages and changing market and consumer trends.

More focus on consumer education is needed 

According to Dr. A.Svitojus, the congress included a lot of discussion not only about agriculture, but also about consumers. It is noticeable that people are becoming more and more detached from rural and agricultural life. For example, a survey conducted in the USA showed that only 1% of respondents know exactly where their food comes from and how it is grown. “This is a real concern. We need to focus more on costumer education, on educating children and young people”,- acknowledged Dr. A. Svitojus, President of the LAC.

The meeting included a variety of bilateral meetings between leaders from various North American and EU regions, with in-depth discussions on topics such as emergency preparedness, plant breeding innovations and consumer trends.