Civil Society Demands the CAP that Supports Sustainable Farming

Ahead of the final vote on the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a broad coalition of civil society organizations calls on the European Parliament to reshape the EU’s agricultural policy and to make it more sustainable.

Between 2005 and 2013 the EU lost 3.7 million farms – a drop of 26%. These numbers, first and foremost, affect small-scale family farms. Meanwhile, the number of young farmers (up to 44 years old) fell from 3.3 million in 2005 to 2.3 million in 2013, showing concerning results for the future of Europe’s agriculture.

Slow Food, along with other organizations involved, asks the European Parliament to stop blind per hectare payments and that the agricultural budget supports small-scale farmers and new entrants in the transition to agroecology. The Parliament still has the power to change the new CAP. EU decision-makers must make sure that people producing food have decent livelihoods and working conditions, and access to land.

The CAP is worth close to €60bn a year, costing around €114 annually per citizen. However, the system has been criticized by Slow Food and many other European NGOs for supporting intensive industrial farming, instead of small-scale sustainable and agroecological farms.

The new CAP will determine the EU’s agricultural policies for the upcoming seven years.

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