Shortly before the start of the German EU Council Presidency, numerous people and civil society have demonstrated in Berlin demanding the government to address the most pressing issues such as controversial trade agreements and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform. Today, Germany is taking over the rotating EU Council Presidency from Croatia, naming EU Green Recovery and climate protection among the key goals.
The negotiations of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are underway with the final vote expected to be held in Autumn. The new CAP will determine the EU’s agricultural policies for the upcoming seven years. With the new Commission aiming to build a sustainable future for Europe, the European Parliament is under pressure to reshape the EU’s agricultural policy more than ever.
The negotiations of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are underway with the final vote expected to be held in Autumn. The new CAP will determine the EU’s agricultural policies for the upcoming seven years. Along with our allies, Slow Food wants to put pressure on Members of the European Parliament to reshape the EU’s agricultural policy for nature and biodiversity, for resilient food systems and agroecology, for climate and environment, for animal welfare and human health, and for sustainable small-scale farming.
Despite the chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the negotiations of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are ongoing. The final vote on the new CAP is expected to be held in Autumn, and it will determine the EU’s agricultural policies for the upcoming seven years. The uncertainty posed by the global pandemic has already affected agricultural markets, food supply chains, and farm incomes. It might have an impact on the CAP negotiations and the final legislation. Slow Food, along with other partner organizations, finds it particularly important to retain sustainable farming principles and to focus on building the resilience of our food systems.
In a joint statement addressed to the key institutions of the European Union, 28 organizations working on human rights, migration, agriculture, environment, and public health assert: “our food supply is at risk, as it greatly depends on unrecognised workers living in uncertain and unsafe conditions.”
The joint statement, co-signed by Slow Food Europe, highlights that the labor shortages that we are experiencing today due to the new coronavirus and the closure of borders demonstrate how European agriculture depends to a large extent on migrant (and largely undocumented) workers. In fact, migrant workers represent a significant proportion of workers picking our fruits and vegetables as well as packing and processing our food. Beyond issues of food supply, light must be shed on the dramatic labor conditions in the agri-food sector which have been ignored for far too long, and which represent a potential risk for the spread of the pandemic among workers.
Slow Food, along with other Italian non-governmental organizations, supports the letter of more than 3600 European scientists. The letter, which has been sent to the EU institutions, draws attention to the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as among the main factors that have led to the current climate emergency and biodiversity loss, as well as the failure to meet the socio-economic targets for rural areas.
Ever since the foundation of the European Union, agricultural subsidies have formed the largest single element of its financial plan, accounting €50 billion annually, over a third of the total budget. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has lots of faults, which Slow Food has talked about on numerous occasions over the years, but it’s worth reminding ourselves of one such flaw: the system is designed to reward farmers purely in terms of quantity—how much land they own—and not in terms of the quality of the food produced. This means that today 80% of all the subsidy money goes to the largest 20% of the farmers.