Brussels in brief

The latest edition of Brussels in Brief included:

Moscow says Black Sea grain deal is dead

The Russian government announced on Monday 17 July that the Black Sea Grain Initiative is terminated, claiming that its conditions had not been met. First signed in July 2022, the Initiative has allowed Ukraine to export nearly 33 million tonnes of corn, wheat and other grains. The last cargo ship cleared by the pact’s signatories left Ukraine on Sunday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed Monday to keep on exporting grain through the Black Sea saying, “We are not afraid. We were approached by companies that own ships. They said that they are ready, if Ukraine and Turkiye are ready to continue, then everyone is ready to continue supplying grain.”

Avian influenza overview April – June 2023

The latest EFSA Scientific Report on avian influenza has been published. Between 29 April and 23 June 2023, there were 98 cases of avian influenza in domestic birds, and 634 cases reported in wild birds across 25 countries in Europe. Although the situation in both Europe and the rest of the world has eased, high mortality rates in black-headed gulls have been reported. The virus was also detected in 24 domestic cats and one caracal. Uncertainties still exist around their possible source of infection. Two cases have been reported in humans in the UK and four in China. The risk of infection in Europe remains low for the general population in the EU/EEA, low to moderate for occupationally or otherwise exposed people to infected birds or mammals (wild or domesticated). The authors recommend increased surveillance of the disease in wild birds.

Commission tables proposal for 30% cut in EU food waste by 2030

Under the EU Commission’s proposal member states will be legally obliged to reduce overall food waste in stores, restaurants, and households by 30% per capita by the end of 2030, based on 2020 figures. In addition, a 10% reduction binding target will be put in place to tackle food waste during the processing and manufacturing of food. According to the Commission, 59 million tonnes of food are thrown away in the EU each year, representing an estimated loss of €132 billion. The largest share of food waste is generated in households, while the processing and manufacturing sectors, take second place. Primary agricultural production has not been brought directly within the scope of the Directive. Find out more by following,