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Let’s Cook! with MEP Julie Girling: EU food production, policy and regulation

The third and final episode of this series of Let’s Cook! was filmed in January 2019. In the episode, then-MEP Julie Girling talks with ECPA’s Graeme Taylor about the future of agriculture and the ins-and-outs of European food regulation. Julie, who is deeply involved in agriculture and food issues, was a Member of the European Parliament for South West England from 2009 – 2019.

Not only is food production important at local levels; it is a crucial part of pan-European policy, especially when it comes to facing issues such as climate change.

The system should be robust, but also flexible enough to allow farmers the tools they need to manage to pests, disease and the impacts of climate change. Yields can be badly affected one year to the next because of a new threat moving in, and agriculture needs to be able to have plant protection products to react very quickly.

In ECPA’s Let’s Cook! kitchen, Julie tells Graeme that Europe has the most stringent system in the world when it comes to the approval of pesticides. Decision makers, parliamentarians and the European Commission should work together to continue to build confidence in European institutions and the EU regulations that guarantee that the food that arrives on the plates of Europe’s 500 million consumers is ultimately safe.

Not only does Europe ensure that its own production processes are well regulated, the truth is that the EU has strict standards when it comes to food imported from outside the EU, too.

As they slice and dice the fixings for the colourful quinoa with vegetable ingredients, Graeme and Julie discuss how every food on the market in Europe – whether it was grown in the EU or outside of the EU – is subject to rigorous quality and safety standards.

Watch Let’s Cook! now and discover a rainbow recipe of delicious ingredients from quinoa to beetroot, from carrots to sugar snap peas, and from spinach to avocadoes.