Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (in Dutch: LNV) has ceased to exist as of 2010. The ministry of LNV used to be responsible for policy in the fields of: Agriculture Fisheries Natural conservation, open air recreation and national parks; Food Safety; Rural development Sustainability in energy and farming where one of the key issues addressed by the ministry. LNV’s tasks, activities and responsibilities where transferred to the new Ministry of Economic Affairs. European affairs The Dutch policy on Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is also shaped by agreements made at the international and European level. The Netherlands signed several international treaties, for instance on nature policy. The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality therefore observes the ensuing agreements, such as on tropical rain forests, biodiversity and protected animal and plant species. The Netherlands is one of the 28 member states of the European Union. The member states co-operate in the economic, social and cultural field. Co-operation in agriculture is most advanced. The central element in creating the European Union was the development of a common market without levies or barriers. Since 1968 there has been a fully fledged European agricultural policy. In that year a common market and prices policy was launched, replacing the different policies on this matter in the then six member states. The Dutch policy on Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is largely derived from the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy of the EU.