SKK workshop on 18 October 2022 in Prague on Czech EU Council
Presidency working priorities for the livestock and feed sector

The Czech Commodity and Feed Association, SKK organized the 27th Conference on animal feed and nutrition in Prague, with speakers from the EU Czech Council Presidency and FEFAC. Next to the Czech members of SKK, delegates from CESFAC, IACA, DAKOFO, DVT, HGFA and the Slovakian feed industry association attended the event.

The first block of lectures dedicated to the current state of Czech agriculture and the direct effects of the war in Ukraine was opened by Ing. Petr Jílek, Ministry of Agriculture. He presented the main priorities of the Czech EU Council presidency focusing on the energy and food crisis management, but also on the specific Green Deal proposals for the agri-food chain, including the pesticides proposal and the trilogue on deforestation-free supply chains. The Czech presidency, in cooperation with the European Commission, is actively working on improving the EU Solidarity lanes, to increase overland transport capacity for agricultural commodities from Ukraine. However, they recognised some negative impacts on the local markets. In the current energy crises, Czech feed manufacturers have obtained recognition of the essential status for the feed industry in case of gas shortening (inclusion of feed manufacturers in a specific group according to Decree No. 344/2012 on the state of emergency in the gas industry).

Mr Ladislav Miko, in his role as an advisor both to the Czech Environment Ministry and DG SANTE, presented the main priorities for the Czech presidency linked to the EU Green Deal implementation:

  • Fit for 55 package: Climate protection and energy security: 13 legislative proposals to achieve climate neutrality by 2050
  • Adaptation to climate change: Restoration of the landscape along the line soil – water – forests
  • Protecting and restoring biodiversity: Preservation of the natural wealth of the landscape
  • Circular economy and pollution reduction: Improving raw material security and energy independence of the EU
  • Light pollution: Reducing the negative impact on human health and biodiversity

On FEFAC’s question, he confirmed that the Czech EU Council Presidency will seek to avoid any measure which may lead to supply chain disruptions in the context of the ongoing trilogue negotiations on deforestation-free supply chains with the European Parliament. At the end of his intervention, he emphasized that the “Green Deal is not dead” while highlighting the importance of livestock agriculture for sustainable food systems.

In the next session, FEFAC President Asbjørn Børsting, FEFAC Vice-President Zoltan Pulay and Pavel Musil, Chairman of the Industrial compound Feed Production Committee, shared the FEFAC views on the energy crisis impact, deforestation-free supply chains, the EU and global grain and oilseeds market management and the rising competition between the bioenergy sector and the feed industry for “traditional” co-products (high-fibre co-products such as sugar beep pulp, wheat bran, DDGS etc are increasingly diverted to the Biomethane sector).

Other interesting market developments that were mentioned at the conference:

  • Due to low import dependency, Czechia was not directly impacted by a loss of UKR grain when the war started
  • Rapeseed and soybean can replace the shortage of UKR sunflower seed
  • Due to low maize harvest in the EU 2022 (especially RU, SK, and HU), it is expected that feed wheat will replace maize
  • It is likely that not all UKR production in 2021/2022 will be exported (as much as 20 Mio t of grains), the question remains on storage capacity also taking into account the 2022/2023 harvest outlook
  • Several Member States noted significant problems with mycotoxins in their 2022 maize harvest
  • Czech consumers will likely reduce their consumption of meat (inflation 14%), inflation in Czech agriculture is 65% y/y
  • Czechia´s monogastric sector received 5.7 Mio eur in extraordinary support in 2022 (via State aid)
  • The Agricultural Chamber of the Czech Republic believes that carbon farming should be linked to agricultural production
  • If the EU will proceed with its bioenergy expansion plans (using more biomass) the EU may not be able to keep its grain exporter role (24-30 Mio t./y in recent years)