The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2013 has been agreed. It introduces measures to manage natural resources, as well as the development of rural areas. For this to happen depends on how national implementation is carried out, and how member states use the instruments offered through the policy.
The big challenge is to offer rural actors in different member states the right information to make this policy work. It is also important that citizens are informed and supporting these new changes.
Za Zemiata (Bulgaria), Hnutí Duha (Czech Republic), Magyar Természetvédok Szövetsége (Hungary), Amigos de la Tierra (Spain), Green Institute (Poland), Friends of the Earth Europe and ARC2020 have started an information and communication campaign to help spread information about the issue.
What will be happening in these countries over the next few months?
Bulgaria joined the EU only in 2007 and some of the CAP measures to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources are not well known to farmers. Over the past years there has been also a trend of intensifying farming and of young people and farmers workers leaving rural areas. Information about starting to farm and especially about a transition towards agroecological food chain approaches is missing. The project will inform farmers in the country about the opportunities offered by the new CAP to support start-ups and how to use existing funding schemes to move towards sustainable food production and distribution. It will also use the emerging farmers markets in the capital Sofia to spread information to consumers about the CAP and sustainable food distributed through short food supply chains. A farmers festival in the autumn will offer thousands of people the opportunity to learn about sustainable food and farming.
Demand for organic and locally produced food has significantly increased in the Czech Republic. Improved communication channels and platforms
are needed to inform citizens about the availability of those products and to increase information about the way they have been produced, as well as the contribution of the CAP to such production and distribution methods. The project will help to improve ways in the country to connect farmers with consumers, to offer information about CAP and therefore encourage increased production and consumption of sustainable local produce. Info stands, information materials and websites will be established to achieve this.
Local products and CSA (& CSA-like food distribution systems). What products are distributed through these systems, how many farmers and consumers participate, how does CAP support of hinder those developments.
Hungary information about the CAP and the sustainable management of natural resources is needed. The project will help through a countryside tour with an exhibition and the distribution of information materials to increase the knowledge of rural actors about the instruments that the CAP offers to preserve biodiversity, support food distribution through short food supply chains and ensure fair income for farmers. Next to that a high profile event in Budapest will gather experts and policy makers from the country to discuss the issues and to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas to improve the CAP implementation on national and regional level.
In Poland the project will focus on spreading information about the best way to implement the greening which farmers need to comply with to get farming subsidies. Information tours with leaflets targeting farmers will be produced and farmers will have the opportunity to learn about agroecological production methods. Additionally to that a communication campaign including the production of video materials and through social media tools will inform the general public about food and farming. This will also happen through the distribution of CAP dedicated magazine.
In Romania, producers and consumers are discovering new ways to connect. EcoRuralis reports for ARC on the latest developments and what they mean in terms of agroecology. Find a selection of articles here.
Questions about the origin of our food and the place and way they have been produced are related to climate change and the impact farming and food consumption have on green house gas emissions. A range of local events in Mallorca, Ibiza, Galicia, La Rioja, Aragon, comunidad de Madrid as well as a national event in Madrid will discuss the issue of climate change, the management of natural resources and the role of rural development plans to support a sustainable food chain reducing green house gas emissions. Experts, rural actors and the general public will be invited to learn.
Our correspondent Peter Crosskey reports on agroecological projects and developments in the U.K. Click here for the latest updates.
In Germany a wide platform of NGOs, farmers, consumers is actively working on the issue of sustainable food and farming and offering critical view on the issue. This project will contribute to involve the European aspect of the CAP into the German debate, offer a view on other countries CAP implementation in planned events like the Green Week.
Arc2020 will provide regular updates on these and other related agroecological activities, here on this site and also on our social media platforms. So watch out for, and share what we post using the #agroeco hashtag on facebook and twitter. We are also organising a conference in Brussels, a web animation, a best practice booklet and are carrying out lots of other activities which we’ll keep you informed on. Through this work, we hope to make a contribution towards making the CAP work for people and the environment.