Between 2003 and 2013, 1 out of 4 farms disappeared in Europe (EuroStat NewsRelease 26/11/2015), an alarming trend that has compromised the social and economic future of many rural regions across Europe. Despite it all, the EU doesn’t seem ready to question the free-market orientation that has led us to the present situation.
The present CAP must be reformed. We need a public policy, a European agriculture policy defined by European civil society, not by the WTO; agricultural policies within the concept of Food Sovereignty. In EU public policies like the CAP, only 20% of available resources benefit small scale farmers, while 80% of support goes to a minority of large holdings (Schmid, Sinabell, F. Hofreither) . Priority should be given to agricultural and rural employment. Farmers should have the right to save their seeds and to improve plant varieties. The setting up of young farmers has to be promoted. Farmers’ income should firstly come from selling their products.
At the international level, fair and legitimate agricultural policies would respond to a series of global problems such as the access to food, maintaining and creating employment (particularly in rural and disadvantaged areas) and fighting against climate change. At the international level this work is carried out within La Via Campesina and along with allies.