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Common Agricultural Policy

What Has to Be Done

If we fail to protect the farming profession, it will become extinct. Soon there could be no CAP left to reform!

As the role of agricultural labour becomes increasingly marginal, we are witnessing an exodus from and "ageing" of the countryside.  According to Eurostat estimates, only 7 percent of farmers are younger than 35 and a third are over 65.

Concrete measures have to be adopted to stop this "haemorrhage" and encourage young people to repopulate rural areas and the agricultural sector in general.

Slow Food believes the new CAP should:
  • restore dignity to farming work;
  • ensure young farmers a decent income, hence security;
  • create networks of young people with farmers-plus other actors in the food supply chain-to pre-empt the sense of isolation that often discourages them from entering the farming profession;
  • promote training for young farmers and knowledge transfers from generation to generation;
  • help young people's business projects by cutting out red-tape and providing financial incentives;
  • supply subsidised technical assistance on agroecological methods, business management etc.

Slow Food believes the new CAP should restructure the European Union's agrifood system round sustainable small-and medium-scale production and local economies by:

  • reviewing denominations of origin, introducing rigorous criteria of sustainability, quality, ties to the land, historical relevance and biodiversity protection;
  • simplifying the prerequisites and red-tape for the start-up of new businesses;
  • rewarding producers who defend traditional and local biodiversity and preserve the traditional agricultural landscape;
  • promoting information and knowledge exchanges among small producers;
  • setting up training programmes to optimise agronomic, processing and marketing techniques;
  • organising environmental and food education in schools and awareness-raising and citizen information programmes;
  • creating market channels for small- and medium-scale products by promoting farmers' markets, fair trade buying groups and groups that pledge to support local agriculture directly.
  • rewarding those who supplement agricultural production with educational, cultural and tourist activities to promote knowledge of the environment and agriculture.



Position document
On the Common Agricultural Policy

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Focus on

A Future for Food that May be Hard to Digest
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With governments discussing the TTIP behind closed doors, Slow Food President Carlo Petrini asks what will be the...

Small Apples and Pig Kidneys
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More than 6,000 free meals prepared with 1,500 kilos of perfectly good food that was destined for the landfill. These...

European Commission taking the lead to protect bees
Belgium | 12/04/2014
The Bee Health conference, organised by the Commission on 7 April 2014 brought together a huge number of people in Brussels interested in bee health. The stakeholders, beekeepers, farmers, scientists, chemical-industry and environmental associations, had the opportunity to keep informed on the Commission work on bees. The actions presented were linked to veterinary practices and products, pesticides, beekeeping, environment and agriculture.

Click here to find out more.

Europe needs agroecology, not agrochemicals: CAPreform must encourage food sovereignty and biodiversity
Belgium | 10/04/2014
For the last 50 years the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has played an instrumental role in how food and farming systems develop in Europe and further afield. Slow Food together with many other European NGOs has been calling for a transition towards a greener and fairer agriculture, supporting agro-ecological food systems that work within ecological and equitable limits – to achieve food sovereignty in Europe and the rest of the world. Now it is in the hands of the Member States to implement this transition. We are inviting citizens, organisations, politicians and local authorities to look for existing solutions in their Member States and regions and to find the best ways to support them under the new Common Agriculture Policy 2014-2020.

Europe needs #agroecology, not agrochemicals: #CAPreform must encourage food sovereignty and #biodiversity

Click here to read the letter.

Ashton and Schulz joint statement on the European Consensus on Development
Belgium | 03/04/2014
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, signed today in the EP the European Consensus on Development, in the presence of the President of the EP, Martin Schulz. Ahead of the European Year for Development 2015, this renewed commitment is both timely and significant. The signature underscores that the EU's determination to eradicate poverty is as vital today, the last year for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, as it was when the Consensus was first signed at the end of 2005."

Click here to find out more.

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