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Margaret Donnelly: EU agriculture plans are laudable - but who's going to pay?

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The announcement last week by the European Commission of its new Farm to Fork strategy is a significant move by the powers that be in Brussels to put food security centre stage once again.

An EU biodiversity strategy was also launched with the aim of enhancing environmental protections and promoting 'greener' food production systems. The initiative ties in nicely with the European Green Deal, which was published late last year and has set Europe on the road to becoming the first climate-neutral continent.

Europe has lofty ambitions to transform its food production system, including a reduction by 50pc of the use and risk of pesticides, a reduction by at least 20pc of the use of fertilisers, a reduction by 50pc in sales of antimicrobials used for farmed animals and aquaculture, and reaching 25pc of agricultural land under organic farming.