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Vienna – 25 September 2018 – The European Coordination Via Campesina and its Austrian member ÖBV – Via Campesina Austria (Österreichische Berg- und Kleinbäuer_innen Vereinigung), rallied today in front of the gathering of EU agricultural ministers in Schloss Hof, Austria, demanding an urgent change of the EU’s food and agricultural policies.
Amidst an enduring crisis in the agricultural sector and with ongoing negotiations on the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the European peasant movement – joined by a large coalition of civil society organizations- are demanding EU leaders to steer the EU’s CAP towards a policy capable of meeting the social, economic and environmental challenges facing Europe.
“An historic opportunity is on the table of EU’s agricultural ministers: to set the course and define the agricultural model of the future. For us, but also according to the opinion of EU citizens, this new model must be sustainable, capable of fostering rural economies and ensuring decent incomes for farmers and all of those making a living from the land. And this, to a large extent, implies the regulation of markets.” Said ECVC’s committee member Andoni Garcia.
Speaking on the expectations and demands of a youth eager to get involved in agriculture, Anneke Engel, representative from ÖBV, reiterated that “Currently, agricultural subsidies of the CAP are instigating land concentration and competition for agricultural land, making access to land difficult, especially for younger generations wishing to establish themselves in this sector. There are few options for these new entrants to set up a farm unless they inherit land or rights. This is quite perplexing given the fact that many of these new entrants, mostly young people, are bringing life to rural areas.”
With cooking pots, spoons and tractors, in Schloss Hof, ECVC and ÖBV insisted that the future CAP must meet society’s expectations and ensure the transition of all European farms to economically sustainable models and peasant agroecology, preserve the environment, the climate and ensure quality food for all citizens.
The action is part of the unremitting campaign led by the European peasant movement in defense of a new agricultural model, one that is sustainable, capable of fostering rural economies and ensuring decent incomes for farmers.
– Read ECVC analysis on the new CAP proposal here
– Read ECVC’s position document on new entrants to agriculture and the CAP here
– Pictures of the action : https://flic.kr/s/aHsmt3cR9B
Franziskus Forster (ÖBV Press Office) : +43 650 68 888 69 – DE, EN
Pierre Maison (ECVC Coordination Committee) : + 33 61 573 1389 – FR
Antonio Onorati (ECVC Coordination Committee): +39 3408 2194 56 – IT, ES, FR, EN
Note to editors:
Building on food sovereignty, the future CAP must: 1) put in place public policies capable of balancing the markets and guarantee fair prices for peasant-farmers; 2) ensure the fair distribution of CAP subsidies by setting mandatory limits (60,000 euros per agricultural holding) and linking subsidies to work; 3) make the aids conditional to compliance with environmental and social standards; 4) guarantee a solid second pillar to finance farm transition and to ensure environmental sustainability, food quality and rural development