Most people like staying in the nature and take full advantage of its gifts. Much attention is paid to healthy eating – you must have wondered many times whether products in shops are not harmful. The EU makes many efforts to ensure the highest quality of food while protecting the environment and the landscape. Dating back to the 1970s, the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) develops more and more effective mechanisms of control and protection5.
Did you know that the amount of aid for farmers in the EU totalled 58.82 billion EUR in 2019? It accounts for approx. 35% of the entire budget of more than 160 billion EUR! This allows the EU to conduct many actions providing constant access to high-quality food, such as supporting the farmers’ income, preventing climate changes and maintaining dynamic rural communities6. This shows the importance of protection of the natural environment and people living in it in the eyes of world experts.
In order to pursue these goals, the European Union has developed good practices that every EU Member State undertakes to comply with. They refer primarily to the use of methods that minimise the adverse impact of agriculture on the surrounding nature. They include, e.g., sustainable farming, meadow maintenance or strict quality requirements of cultivations3. Hygiene standards, such as sewage management or the proper use of protective measures, are also taken care of.
Since the beginning of the agreement, the main focus has been on relevant education and the satisfaction of farmers’ basic needs. Their fulfilment gives farmers an opportunity and time to gain new knowledge about more efficient farming and the protection of their nearest environment. A well-educated man gains awareness and starts to feel the need for caring about our planet.
We can observe a high level of awareness also in the protection of waters1 – anti-contamination practices are known and used increasingly often by farmers2.
Thanks to gradual and effective education and financial aid, farming activities become a sphere of protection and production of environmental public goods, thereby broadening the traditional concept of public good4. You also benefit from the consistence of these actions! The food you eat and serve to your loved ones is of better quality, and the surrounding nature can still be beautiful!
Currently, high-standard pig farming holds the field in the EU countries, combining modern technologies with traditional, fully balanced rearing so as to ensure the top quality and safety of pork. This is why European farming stands out among global competitors!
The location, construction and operation of livestock farms is strictly regulated by laws and requirements1 that put the farmer under an obligation to obtain various kinds of decisions and approvals and to present detailed analyses of the consequences of the environmental impact of rearing in its various stages. It is worth mentioning that high-quality EU farming should not have a negative impact on the natural environment.
The codified Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 20081 helped to systematise all legal requirements relating directly to the maintenance of the high welfare of farm animals. Each farmed pig is provided with the freedom of movement. Because sows prefer social interactions with other pigs in natural conditions, they must be provided with “environmental complexity”. In order to ensure animal welfare, breeders provide them with the relevant space in which they can maintain a natural lifestyle.
The most important thing is to ensure the high quality of feed and unlimited access to water allowing an animal to adapt consumption according to natural biological needs.
Feed given to pigs should be fully balanced and contain nutrients that are necessary for growth and proper development. Therefore, European farming involves the use of high-quality feeds that meet the REGULATION (EC) No 183/2005 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 12 January 2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene2.
Much attention must be paid to the quality of served water. It should meet all standards for drinking water intended for human consumption.
A farming place should constitute an area completely devoid of all obstacles. The amount of free space per animal depends, among others, on its weight. In the case of piglets or each reared pig except sows, this value ranges from 0.15 to 1.00 m2. Gilts and sows kept in groups must be provided with a surface of 1.64 m2 and 2.25 m2, respectively. The breeder should provide enough space for each animal so as to ensure the full freedom of movement. Walls of the buildings have to be adequately insulated to ensure the thermal comfort of animals. The building has to be kept clean, because the pig is a very clean animal.
According to valid legislation1, it is prohibited to build premises in which animals are tied. Pig farm owners are required to provide animals with adequate environmental conditions, which translates into the high quality of meat. Microclimatic conditions in buildings and premises for pigs affect animals both in a physical, chemical and biological manner, thus influencing their health and production results.
For the maintenance of the highest level of farming, quality and animal welfare controls are held regularly. Each of the member states determines relevant supervisory bodies:
– with regard to environment protection: the Environment Protection Inspectorate;
– with regard to the protection of animal health and welfare: the Veterinary Inspectorate.
Each breeder is required to keep detailed herd books3.
The maintenance of pig welfare during their whole life, the ensuring of optimum conditions for their growth and the exclusive use of proven and modern technologies has raised European farming to an entirely different level. This is why pork from the EU is one of the best around the world4. European farming ensures that the living conditions of animals are as similar as possible to those in the natural environment.
Exceptionally tasty and, more importantly, safe high-quality pork from the EU guarantees an unforgettable taste experience!
Do you know that the European Union is one of the world’s biggest poultrymeat producers? Annual meat production involves up to 13.5 million tons of poultry. All European farmers are obliged to comply with commercial standards that are specifically established for the needs of this market.1
Poultry consumption per person averages 25 kg per annum. According to research, global poultry consumption should rise by 20% within the next 20 years. It is expected that 40% of this increase will come from Asia.2. As can be seen, the demand is really huge. Last year’s Eurostat 3 data indicate that Poland is one of the biggest poultry exporters in the EU with 2.7 million tons per annum.
However, production on such a huge scale is a very responsible task. After all, poultrymeat regularly appears on tables in many households every day. It is, therefore, important to ensure its highest quality. For this reason, the health and welfare of animals is a priority. On the global scene, farms controlled by the EU represent a very high level, being in the forefront with regard to standards and laws establishing detailed animal breeding guidelines.
Hens require mainly adequate treatment. The number of hens reared in free ranges and on litter systematically increases. One of many guidelines is the compulsory limit of 9 hens per one square meter. Moreover, each hen should have its own place on litter. Each animal must also have unlimited access to feed.
The producers’ obligation is to report each hen rearing farm to relevant authorities in EU countries. After their analysis of conditions prevailing on the relevant farm, the production unit acquires its own number so that the origin of goods could be checked.4
Feed for hens must be nutritionally complete and meet all of their needs. During the preparation of feed, special attention is paid to the content of metabolic energy, protein, or mineral ingredients and amino acids. Feed must be fresh and served in hygienic conditions and proper quantities. In addition, laying hens must have constant access to clean water. A mixture for hens may include such ingredients as corn, wheat, barley, fodder chalk, rapeseed oil and lentil seeds.5
The quality supervision of poultry breeding is very elaborate. It is exercised by committees consisting of government representatives chaired by a representative of the European Commission. Regular meetings are held to discuss all aspects of breeding. All committees and groups created for this purpose can be found on the EU’s official website: ec.europa.eu.6
As you can see, the level of poultry breeding in Europe is really high. We owe this to numerous legal regulations and continuous improvements. The welfare of farm animals is our priority, which ensures the safety and high quality of produced goods.
1 - eur-lex.europa.eu (marketing standards for poultrymeat)
2 - wattagnet.com (Asian and global poultry consumption)
3 - eurostat.ec (poultry production)
4 - ec.europa.eu (hen rearing farms)
5 - agrofakt.pl (hen feed)
6 - ec.europa.eu (quality supervision)
EU’s priorities in fields and orchards.
European high cultivation standards and modern production methods translate directly into the quality and safety of European fruit and vegetables.
The nutritional value and the taste of European fruit and vegetables is an important priority of the European Union. According to European standards, fruit and vegetables on the market are nourishing and grow in a proper and strictly regulated manner.
According to the Eurostat data, fruit cultivation occupies the area of 2.8 million hectares in the EU.
Further 2.1 million hectares are set aside for vegetables.
Taking the production volume into account, the apple could become a symbol of EU agriculture.
This fruit represents the biggest crops in the EC!
In 2020, apple crops in the EU totalled 10,711,000 tons.
In the same year, estimated apple production in Poland was 17% higher than last year (i.e., 3.4 million tons).
The most popular vegetable is the tomato – last year’s crops totalled ca. 18.5 million tons, which means 36 kg per capita within the EU.
In 2018, according to the Eurostat data, Poland was the second largest producer of blueberry in the EU, with a share of 24% in the EU’s crops. The growth of these crops started after Poland’s accession to the EU. From that time until the last year, blueberry crops rose from 4,000 tons to over 25,000 tons.
Scientific field in European farmland.
The cultivation of vegetable plants in the EU draws upon results of long-year cultivation work of European and world scientists on plant varieties differing in terms of usability for various purposes (consumption of raw products, storage, processing), harvesting (earliness and size of crops), thermal requirements or resistance to diseases and pest.
Plants are cultivated using various methods: in the field, in greenhouses and film-covered hothouses, drawing, cultivation from seeding in a permanent place or transplanting. Various treatment methods aimed at increasing and improving the quality of crops (e.g., spotlighting of plants, irrigation), new storage methods (cold storage with controlled atmosphere) and various means of production of domestic and foreign origin are used.3
Fruit and vegetables from the European Union produced with passion and experience by our farmers are a safe and tasty high-quality choice!