On October 12 the European Commission presented the legislative proposal for the future Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). From Commissioner Ciolos’s speech and the information available on the 2014-2020 CAP, there is the distinct impression that the main agricultural lobbies as well as governments have weakened the intentions of making the CAP more sustainable.
The proposal seems in fact to represent only the interests of large-scale farmers and excludes measures that would ensure a more equal and just CAP. This reform should prepare European agriculture for the challenges of the future decades, not protect practices and interests rooted in the past.
Despite the intention to change the criteria for the allocation of subsidies and the introduction of a limit to payments, there does not seem to be a real will to contain the predominance of agro-industry and promote small and medium-scale sustainable productions.
Despite having recognized the central role of small-scale producers, the proposal does not put forward measures that recognize the value of their work or their contribution to the environment.
The proposal is particularly disappointing in the lack of incisiveness of the measures that call for a CAP that is oriented towards sustainable production methods. There is no increase in environmental protection measures in the rural development policies. No instruments for the protection of biodiversity have been introduced.
There are however certain positive elements, such as the strengthening of producer organizations and multi-sectoral organizations; the promotion of a shorter and more balanced food supply chain; the support of inter-generational exchange; assistance to farmers; a support fund for young farmers and increased attention to the needs of specific regions.
In the following months, Slow Food will be pushing for the European Commission to take into account the demands presented in the position paper “Towards a New Common Agricultural Policy” which calls for an agricultural development that is more attentive to safeguarding agro-biodiversity, local territories and economies and the dignity of farmers.
Click here for more information on Slow Food's work for a sustainable Europe.
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