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The Basque Government develops measures and tools to improve the functioning of the food supply chain.

2024 May 7
  • The approved decree regulates the control, inspection and sanction systems with the aim of establishing a rebalancing of the food chain, introducing additional measures to mitigate the current difficulties of the agricultural sector.
  • Two collegiate bodies have also been set up, the Code of Good Commercial Practices in Food Contracting Monitoring Commission and the Basque Food Chain Observatory.

The Basque Government spokesperson and Minister for Culture and Language Policy, Bingen Zupiria, appeared at the regular press conference held after the Governing Council together with the Basque Minister for Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment, Arantxa Tapia.

MEASURES TO IMPROVE THE FUNCTIONING OF THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN

Minister Arantxa Tapia presented the decree approved today by the Basque Government that regulates the measures and tools for the improvement of the functioning of the food chain. "In the Basque Country, the agri-food sector is strategic, especially in the first links of the chain, and there is a structural weakness in commercial relations between the agricultural sector and its relationship with commercial ties. Furthermore, in the context of an increasingly globalised world, we observe a persistent trend of rising production costs and this especially affects the first sector, which is in particularly vulnerable position, depending to a large extent on the economic situation and adjustments in the supply chain. That is why the aim of the proposed measures and tools is to establish a rebalancing of the food supply chain, introducing additional measures to mitigate the difficulties faced by a large part of the primary sector, and to ensure as much transparency as possible in commercial relations between operators in the overall food supply chain." said Tapia. Therefore, the approved decree regulates the system of controls, inspections and the exercise of sanctioning powers, while also creates two collegiate bodies, the Commission for Monitoring the Code of Good Commercial Practices in Food Contracting and the Basque Food Chain Observatory.

AGREEMENTS OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL

Spokesperson Bingen Zupiria reported on other issues discussed at today's Governing Council. To begin with, Zupiria gave an account of two grants approved to promote the social economy through the participation of workers in companies and through the extension of corporate social responsibility. The first call aims to finance the development and implementation of instruments to facilitate and improve the participation of workers in the management and bodies of social economy enterprises, as well as to facilitate generational change. The second one is the promotion and implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility in companies. A total amount of 290,000 euros has been assigned to take steps forward in these two goals; "we must remember that last year almost 50 entities benefited from these calls for proposals" added Zupiria.

Additionally, the spokesperson outlined that at today’s meeting the Governing Council was informed of the 2023 Report on the management of public sector recruitment in the Basque Country. "This document shows that in the Community Public Sector, i.e. Departments, Autonomous Bodies and other Public Sector entities, a total of 8,579 contracts were awarded last year for an amount of €2.523 billion. The total amount increased by 35% with 150 more contracts being signed this year in comparison to 2022, creating an upward trend" said Zupiria.

With regard to the Department of Education, the government has decided to provide a direct grant to the Donostia International Physics Centre (DIPC) to set up the new Quantum Technologies Laboratory based on cold atoms. This grant, of 1.6 million euros, is part of the Basque Quantum strategy promoted by the Basque Government. The Government acknowledges the importance of this investment, as the research work carried out in the laboratory will be key to strengthening the Basque quantum ecosystem and to strategically reinforcing the critical mass in the competitive field of quantum computing, at a time when science is undergoing the so-called "second quantum revolution".  The financial extension for the call for individual grants for school transport for students with special educational needs has been approved by another 200,000 euros. Thus, the aid for this call for this academic year will reach 5,600,000 euros.

In regards to the Department of Culture, today the Governing Council approved  the allocation for the refurbishment of the Miramar Palace for 2024-2025. The total amount will be 2,145,000 euros and "Kursaal Elkargunea S.A." will be the beneficiary of the subsidy as it is responsible for the management of the building. Work is scheduled to be completed by December 2025.

Finally, the Council has approved the call for applications for aid for the production of performing arts, specifically, subsidies for theatre, dance and circus productions to be carried out or to begin in the 2024 fiscal year. The financial allocation for this call amounts to 1,560,000 euros: 160,000 euros more than last year.

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Politicians attending the event