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Agriculture Minister: Japan Hungary’s important agricultural partner

Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy on Wednesday met Ryosuke Ogawa, the deputy minister for international relations of the Japanese agricultural ministry, to discuss the priorities of Hungary's European Union presidency and issues regarding food waste and animal health.

According to a ministry statement, Nagy said at the meeting held in Budapest that Hungary will preside over a transitional period after the European parliamentary elections, which will enable ministers of the 27 member states to make proposals to the European Commission directly.

Hungary aims to simplify regulations and “turn the Common Agricultural Policy’s focus to farmers”, Nagy said. The main topics would be competitiveness, crisis-resistance, sustainability, a farmer-centered policy and integrating scientific results into agriculture, he said.

Hungary will also work to reduce the food waste produced in retail by half by 2030, drawing on the country’s measures that had led to Hungary reducing food waste by 27 percent in the past 6 years, he said.

Hungary will also hold a conference on food waste reduction in the autumn, to which Nagy invited the Japanese delegation.

In an attempt to promote sustainable fishing, Nagy said Hungary “will work on setting up a model based on scientific results and a consensus between member states.”

Speaking about trade relations with Japan, Nagy said the country was an important trading partner of premium products, especially those under protected georgaphical indication.

He thanked Ogawa for Japan’s decision to agree on a regional approach to Hungarian pork exports. Hungary is the first country hit by African swine flu from which Japan allows imports from unaffected regions, he said.

“We would like to expand mutually beneficial cooperation. Hungarian food safety regulations and experts provide a good baseline for stronger relations in that field, too,” he added.

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