EU: Council Adopts Negotiating Position on Sustainable Packaging Rules

On December 18, 2023, the Council reached an agreement (“general approach”) on a proposal for a regulation on packaging and packaging waste. The proposal requires that all packaging be recyclable and that the presence of substances of concern be minimized. It also sets labelling requirements, sets binding reuse targets, restricts certain types of single-use packaging and requires economic operators to minimize the packaging used.

The general approach will serve as a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on the final shape of the legislation.

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EU: Parliament and Council Reach Deal on Corporate Due Diligence Law

On December 14, the European Parliament and Council negotiators reached a compromise deal on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). The new law will set obligations for companies to mitigate their negative impact on human rights and the environment. Before the law can enter into force, it must be formally approved by the Legal Affairs Committee and the European Parliament as a whole, as well as by the Council.

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EU: FAQ on Deforestation Regulation

In mid-December, the European Commission published an updated FAQ document on the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), covering the topics of traceability, scope, subjects of obligations, definitions, due diligence, benchmarking and partnerships, supporting implementation and timelines.

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EU: European Drought Risk Atlas

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has published the European Drought Risk Atlas. This publication characterizes how drought hazard, exposure and vulnerability interact and affect various interconnected systems —agriculture, public water supply, energy, riverine transport, and freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems— and presents a conceptual and quantitative approach to drought risk for these systems.

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Türkiye-EU: Annual Meeting of the Türkiye-EU Cooperation Scheme on Hazelnuts

On December 20, 2023, the INC attended the annual meeting of the Türkiye-EU Cooperation Scheme on Hazelnuts. This event brought together representatives from Türkiye, the European Union, Italy, Spain and France, and Copa-Cogeca.

Topics discussed at the meeting included the 2022/2023 campaign, crop estimates for 2023/2024, agricultural policies, climate change and pests. The preliminary estimated hazelnut production figures (in-shell) for 2023/2024 reported were 650,000 MT for Türkiye; between 52,000 and 57,000 MT for Italy; 11,000 MT for France; and 6,900 MT for Spain.

Representatives of European hazelnut growers raised concerns about the unavailability of effective plant protection products due to stringent EU regulations, and how climate change will continue to exacerbate pest problems and impact quality, productivity and investments. Representatives of Copa-Cogeca presented a color-coded system to graphically illustrate the number of active ingredients approved against each threat and the degree of efficacy of each approved product, based on the farmers’ real-life experience. The presentation aimed to sound the alarm about the lack of fully effective solutions against many of the pests and diseases affecting hazelnut orchards, which also puts them at a disadvantage compared to third countries.

Aflatoxins were another key topic of discussion. EU officials praised Türkiye for its progress in bringing its number of RASFF notifications for aflatoxins in hazelnut down to practically zero, which in 2022 resulted in the country being removed from the list of countries subject to increased frequency of official controls for aflatoxins in hazelnut.


USA: American Pistachio Growers Awarded $5 Million Healthy Soils Grant

American Pistachio Growers has been awarded a US$5 million grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to help growers adopt healthy soils practices. The grant is a part of the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments that promotes the development of healthy soils on California’s farmlands and ranchlands.

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