Lunch Seminar on How will the NGT proposal shape future agri-food systems 29112023

Brussels, 30th of November 2023 – During a Lunch Seminar on 29th November, co-hosted by European Parliament member Michaela Šojdrová, from the European People’s Party, and Plants for the Future ETP, farmers, policymakers, breeders and researchers came together to discuss the NGT legislative proposal and how it will shape what our future agri-food systems will look like. The legislative process is advancing with extraordinary speed and to facilitate the conversation, Plants For the Future provided an opportunity to delve into the details of what the proposal will mean for the actors on the ground.

The lunch was kicked off with opening remarks and setting the scene by MEP Šojdrová, as one of the shadow-rapporteurs of the NGT file from the Committee of Agriculture and Rural Development. With keen insights into the legislative, she emphasised its pivotal role in the ever-evolving agriculture landscape. She noted some points in the proposal that she proposes to amend. Among others, MEP Šojdrová marked compulsory labelling of NGT 1 plants as unjustified, “because conventional-like plants should be treated as conventional and the extra labelling requirement poses an unfounded distinction as well as unnecessary administrative burden”. In the seminar, Professor Dirk Inze emphasized the transformative era in agriculture, highlighting the efficiency and precision of precision breeding through gene editing, considering it a game-changer for agrobiodiversity. Dorrit Andersen, representing Danish organic vegetable farmers, discussed the challenges faced by organic farmers and the potential role of Category 1 NGTs in overcoming these challenges while maintaining organic farming principles. Spanish farmer Felipe Cortines, managing both organic and conventional farming, underscored the importance of balancing environmental, social, and economic factors, stating that NGTs are a crucial tool for the future of agriculture. The seminar concluded with a dynamic open-floor discussion, highlighting the need for diverse perspectives, and César González emphasized the significance of inclusive conversations to ensure all farmers benefit from technological advancements.

See the entire event report with photographs here.

Download the press release here.