On November 15th, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Agroecology heard seven NGO presentations on the shortcomings of the current CAP reform proposals at the Houses of Parliament.
Among campaigning points raised by Friends Of the Earth senior food campaigner Clare Oxborrow was concerned that the competitivity priority for pillar 2 was so vague that it could be distorted in negotiations. Director of the Organic Research Centre, Nic Lampkin reported that his team has just completed an EU-wide study of organic agriculture for the European Commission.
Scottish Crofting Federation chief executive Patrick Krause reminded those present that “…food production is not just about food. We have to ask how the CAP can help people to form sustainable relationships with the land.” Ian Woodhurst, senior rural policy officer of the Campaign to Protect Rural England talked about the most recent publication from the Joint Links that responds to the European Commission’s published CAP reform proposals. Crunch Time for CAP (available on ARC website here) was presented at the House of Commons on November 8.
Speaking for Compassion in World Farming senior campaigns manager Emma Slawinski warned: “Article 68 currently contains provision for support to farmers who practice enhanced animal welfare. This has been lost and we want it restored” The group is lobbying members of the European Parliament in a campaign called Filthy Business to tell the UK public that 80% of EU farm animals are in factory farms.
Policy director of the Soil Association, Peter Melchett, expressed concern that the European Commission had “…gone quiet about climate change and employment.” The UK organic market has declined in the recession, at a time when all the major organic markets in the EU are still growing – even in Greece.
Rob Macklin, head of agriculture at the National Trust, voiced disappointment with the CAP reform package. The National Trust is responsible for 200,000 hectares of farmland in the UK.
For more information see: http://agroecologygroup.org.uk/index.php/events/previous-meetings/2011-11-15/