ECVC demands the CAP reform is revised to respond to new social, economic, political and environmental realities and to meet the needs of peasant farmers and European citizens.
Brussels 27th of May
Next week will mark two years since the European Commission put forward their proposal for the CAP reform. For ECVC, this proposal must be reviewed urgently, given that the current reform does not reflect the new realities of society, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing concern for environmental issues that led to the emergence of the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy. This demand is made all the more important as the current reform proposal would not be implemented for at least two years, along with the uncertainty and inconsistency that the CAP budget has not yet been approved and with the new economic proposals presented today by the European Commission. Therefore, ECVC stresses that in the review of the reform, the institutions must guarantee the necessary time and stability for the farmers to adapt, through appropriate transition regulation which maintains the current payments.
In the current context, the importance of small and medium-scale farmers and rural workers is increasingly evident. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the great fragility of the current system. The whole world has seen the serious consequences and risks caused by globalisation and neoliberal policies, which include a shortage of basic sanitary materials, motivated by the delocalisation of production, the externalisation of production costs and the high dependence on globalised production chains. The fragility of the EU and the great difficulties in providing a coordinated EU-wide response to the health, economic and social issues caused by the crisis are clear.
There is therefore no point in maintaining the current reform timescale, as if the situation were the same as two years ago. The CAP reform proposal takes no account of the situation or the new demands arising from the COVID-19 crisis, or the proposed European Green Deal or Farm to Fork Strategy.
Agriculture and food in Europe must not be dependent on and subordinated to globalised food systems imposed by WTO agreements and free trade agreements. We cannot risk that this health crisis, or any future crisis, simultaneously results in a food crisis. This is the path that is being taken in the EU, by relocating food production and by having turned food into a commodity and not a basic right for the whole population.
Europe externalises the production and costs of cheap, unhealthy food, with serious environmental and social consequences in many parts of the world. This also impacts the EU by creating competition and social, health and environmental dumping which affects farmers in the EU. Furthermore, it leads to the development of industrial agriculture and the loss of millions of small and medium farmers who guarantee food security and sovereignty and the continued population of rural areas.
The current CAP reform, put together two years ago, will not help to build a strong Agricultural and Food Policy in the EU. It is not capable of meeting either the original objectives or the nine objectives identified in the new proposal. To achieve the CAP objectives, coherent policies are needed in all areas of the EU, including economic, trade, agriculture and food, environment and social policies. Yet the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy did not even exist when this proposal was written, let alone are reflected in its content.
ECVC thus calls for the following concrete and clear measures within the CAP reform review. In addition, here you can see further information on how to integrate small and medium scale farmers into the CAP:
- To base the reform of the CAP on the principles of Food Sovereignty (the capacity to decide on agricultural and food policies) which is supported by millions of small and medium peasants who use sustainable, democratic and healthy agriculture and food models. This will also address the loss of food security brought about by the current system.
- Stop the negotiation of new Free Trade Agreements.
- To strengthen the management and regulation of the common internal market and the production model within the CAP, in order to stop the relocation of food production to other countries to reduce costs, without caring about production methods or the serious health, environmental and social consequences that it generates in those countries and in the EU itself.
- To create a fairer and more supportive CAP and to put an end to competition and social, health and environmental dumping that affects farmers in the EU, which drives forward the development of industrial agriculture and the loss of millions of small and medium farmers.
- Create an environmentally sustainable and democratic CAP and food chain, with coherent policies aimed at fulfilling the ambition of the Commission’s Green Deal.
- To bring farmers and consumers closer together and relocate food consumption, to prioritise the needs of farmers and citizens, rather than the profits of transnational companies, WTO agreements and Free Trade Agreements.
- Protect the rights of agricultural workers and link CAP support for producers to the fulfilment of these rights.
Alessandra Turco – ECVC Coordinating Committee: + 39 347 642 7170 – IT, ES, FR
José Miguel Pacheco – ECVC Coordinating Committee: +351 918736441 – ES, PT
Alisha Sesum – ECVC Communication Officer: +44 7557537289 – EN, ES, FR