Romania’s Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin has sent a letter to Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Jose Graziano da Silva in which he joins common efforts to stop Russia from destroying embargoed food, arguing that such food should be distributed to the poverty and hunger-stricken people from all around the world.
On August 6, Russia started destroying embargoed European and American food products under a decree of the Russian Presidency, despite protests from the local civil society and public figures of all political hues.
“I believe the decree issued by the President of the Russian Federation concerning the destruction of produce is incompatible with the commitments of the country as a member of FAO. Such commitments include the implementation of the resolutions of the FAO conferences on food loss and waste reduction hosted by Romania in April 2014,’ says Constantin.
In his opinion, the produce covered by the decree should reach hunger and poverty-stricken people from around the world.
For more than a year, Russia has forbidden the import of several produce from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia for its alleged part in the Ukrainian crisis, a decision that affected the European agriculture sector particularly.
Following the decree issued by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the produce, initially sent back to its country of origins through the customs points, will be destroyed on the spot by the authorities after being impounded at the border or in shops.
Romanian fruit and vegetable farmers will receive compensation from European Union funds capped at 3,000 tonnes for market withdrawals, failure to harvest or harvesting before reaping as the embargo imposed by the Russian Federation on food and produce coming from the European Union has been extended, Constantin announced on August 13.
The application of these exceptional measures started on August 8, 2015 and it is scheduled to end when the 3,000-tonne cap is reached or June 30, 2016, Agerpres informs.