With the European Commission holding an important conference on the future of Europe’s farming today, Friday July 13, environmental and farming groups are asking policy makers to make this a lucky day for the Common Agricultural Policy.
Slow Food together with Friends of the Earth Europe, Arc2020, Birdlife Europe, EEB, IFOAM EU Group, Pesticide Action Network Europe and WWF are calling for European agriculture to move away from harmful and industrialized farming and towards greener and fairer farming practices that lead to rural vitality.
The conference – ‘The CAP towards 2020 - taking stock with civil society’ is a forum for civil society to debate and discuss the CAP reform proposals for post-2013 which were adopted by the Commission on October 12, 2011, and the degree to which the proposals contribute to meeting the challenges identified during the public debate launched in 2010.
It 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 19 2012: www.goodfoodmarch.eu
For more information please see press release.
The conference can be followed via live streaming here.