As the European Commission organises an important conference on the future of Europe’s farming (July 13), environmental and farming groups are asking policy makers to make this a lucky day for the Common Agricultural Policy. European agriculture needs to move away from harmful and industrialised farming and towards greener and fairer farming practices that lead to rural vitality.
The conference – ‘The CAP towards 2020 - taking stock with civil society’ comes at a crucial stage in the process of agreeing a new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Campaign groups are calling on policy makers to fix Europe's broken model of farming and food consumption, and its devastating environmental and social impacts, with real reform.
Magda Stoczkiewicz, Director of Friends of the Earth Europe, speaking on behalf of the groups said: “The debate on food and farming in Europe needs a change of fortune. Policy makers must push for a radical reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. Member states and parliamentarians mustn’t be given the option to sidestep their responsibility towards European citizens, who want to see green and fair farming that provides healthy food for consumers and truly protects the environment."
The current direction of the CAP debate will not deliver the food and farming that European citizens wish for. The European Commission’s proposals risk being watered down by the European Parliament and Council. The new CAP should promote green and fair farming that provides healthy food for consumers, ensures long term food security, protects the environment and creates diverse and resilient rural communities.
Samuel Féret, ARC 2020 member added: “The European Commission must ensure its proposals are strengthened, not weakened. The priority should be rejuvenating farming and rural communities, while providing a decent livelihood for all farmers in a healthy environment – not business as usual.”
This summer European citizens will bring their demands for the future of Europe’s food and farming directly to Brussels. The Good Food March will bring farmers, citizens and young people from across Europe to Brussels on September 19th 2012: www.goodfoodmarch.eu