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.
The European Days of Action for Good Food Good Farming culminated in Strasbourg, where 1000 people gathered at a rally outside the European Parliament to demand urgent action to address the climate and environmental crises in the ongoing reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). During the month of October, more than 70 actions and events were organized across Europe, as part of the Good Food Good Farming campaign, out of which more than 20 were held by Slow Food networks.
For the second year in a row, Slow Food Europe joins the European Days of Action for Good Food Good Farming, which during the month of October will take place across Europe. Different Slow Food networks are organizing more than 15 events in Western, Central and Nordic European countries such as Italy, Romania, Latvia, France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Finland, and Croatia. The Good Food Good Farming movement unites more than 300 European organizations who joined forces to demand that decision-makers implement food and farming systems that support small farmers and rural livelihoods, as well as protect the soil, water, ecosystems, and biodiversity.
With the new European Commission promising to implement a European Green Deal, the expectations are high for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform to truly address the needs of the environment. The Green Deal should include biodiversity protection strategy and the reduction of the use of pesticides – vital steps to stop the decline of pollinators. On September 21, the second day of the Cheese Festival in Bra, speakers from the European Commission and several European non-governmental organizations discussed how the CAP reform fits into the narrative around the protection of the environment, biodiversity, and sustainable food systems.
It has been a few months since the European elections took place in May; however, the formation of the new leadership of EU institutions is far from being done. In September, when newly elected Members of Parliament (MEPs) and recently approved Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will return to Brussels, they will have an immense task to form and approve the new Commission. Meanwhile, the new Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) is expected to determine the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform.
The European Days of Action for Good Food Good Farming are just around the corner. In October, Slow Food Europe will join forces with other civil society groups across Europe to demand of decision-makers that they implement food and farming systems which support small farmers and rural livelihoods, and protect our soil, water, ecosystems, and biodiversity. The first joint Good Food Good Farming action took place last October and saw the emergence of more than 60 events across 19 European countries.
As the new European Parliament is reaching the final stages of its formation, Slow Food Europe along with other 26 civil society organizations takes this opportunity to approach the newly formed Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI). In an open letter, organizations call on 48 Members of the Committee to work towards a fundamentally green and fair reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Civil society groups are expected to meet with the AGRI Committee on Wednesday to address their concerns in person.
It is the last day of the European Elections. While a few countries of the European Union have organized the vote between Thursday and Saturday, the majority of Member States will elect their representatives to the European Parliament today. Slow Food Europe calls everyone to vote for the candidates who respect European values and care about the future of European agriculture, food, and the environment.