In a meeting with Commissioner for Agriculture last week, ECVC stressed the importance of promoting and protecting the peasant model of agriculture and the rights of rural workers in the CAP reform.
In a meeting with Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski last week, European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) stressed the importance of promoting and protecting the peasant model of agriculture and the rights of rural workers in the CAP reform, the legitimacy of which will be at stake in the trialogue negotiations. As ECVC explained, it is unacceptable for the CAP not to intervene in the current unbalanced market that promotes low producer prices and eliminates thousands of small producers annually. For a more sustainable and fairer system, the CAP cannot continue to support mainly industrialised production models in total contradiction with the European Green Deal. And, in order to "leave no one behind", it is unacceptable that the CAP continues to concentrate the provision of public aid to a minority of largescale EU farmers. Therefore, ECVC once again advocates the importance of the following concrete measures, also highlighted in an open letter to the institutions last month:
- Approve and implement social conditionality on CAP subsidies
- Ensure eco-schemes are directed at globally sustainable production models
- Implement mandatory subsidy distribution instruments, such as capping, modulation and redistributive payments
- Do not count maintaining land in good condition as an agricultural practice, given that it does not produce anything and only promotes the concentration of land resources.
During the meeting, the Commissioner underlined the overall need to support and promote small and medium-scale agriculture, the integration of young people and newcomers, social conditionality, and agriculture that protects the environment, including organic farming and agroecology. He explained that he "fully agrees with the fact that Europe needs more farmers", that small-scale farmers are solutions for the "prevention of diseases, the "protection of animal welfare", and to "successfully meet the goals of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies of the Green Deal", which are "necessary for Europe's food security, and for the sustainable development of rural environments". ECVC welcomes the good intentions of the Commissioner. However, to achieve these proposals it is essential to change the EU's trade policy, which is still committed to free trade agreements that are not compatible with food sovereignty and resilience, give more power to large multinationals that promote industrial models of agriculture, and cause the disappearance of thousands of farmers. ECVC calls for our demands to be considered in the current trialogue process, as Jose Miguel Pacheco of the ECVC Coordinating Committee said. "We need more farmers and farm workers working in decent conditions, supported by a CAP that is consistent with the objectives of the Green Pact and the Farm to Fork Strategy. Hopefully, through this kind of exchange, the Commission, the Council, the Parliament will listen to the demands of small and medium farmers who represent the majority of farmers in Europe."