European Coordination Via Campesina welcomes the acknowledgement of territories and employment in the Commission's communication; but can “adaptation” of the current tools alone save European sustainable family farming and give international legitimacy to the CAP?
Communication CAP- post 2013: European Coordination Via Campesina welcomes the acknowledgement of territories and employment in the Commission's communication; but can “adaptation” of the current tools alone save European sustainable family farming and give international legitimacy to the CAP? In the semi-official document from DG Agri which is currently circulating, there are certain elements which could be read as signs of hope for European farmers, and in particular for small farms, which have been forgotten by European policy in the past. A ceiling for direct payments, linked to employment, a minimum level of payments for small farms, and the maintenance of payments coupled to production to sustain farms in certain rural areas are all proposals which have long been demanded by European Coordination Via Campesina. However, can the CAP post 2013 be boiled down to making small improvements in the distribution of taxpayer's money in order to repair the damage of a market policy which does not allow farmers to make a living from their own products? Healthy agricultural and food economies cannot be based on farm gate prices lower than production costs- as it is the case now in most sectors. To speak about competitiveness in this context does not make any sense. Young people cannot be motivated to become farmers with the prospect of selling their products at a loss. Supplying products at ultra-low prices (which are not seen by consumers) to agricultural processing industries and large retailers cannot continue to be the main motor of the CAP in 2013. Without supply management, we will not have fair farm prices. Without putting an end to exports at prices below European production costs , farmers from developing countries will not have access to their own markets, and the CAP will continue without international legitimacy. To develop living rural areas, contribute positively to the employment crisis in Europe and answer the challenges of food security and environment, the European Union needs to go still further with its proposal for reform . Contacts : Geneviève Savigny (FR-EN) +33 625551687 Javier Sanchez (ES) +34 609 35 93 80 Gérard Choplin (FR-EN-DE) +32 473257378
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