ARC Newsflash October 2012

Dear friends and supporters of ARC2020

Welcome to October’s edition of the ARC NEWSFLASH. This month saw Slow Food’s bi-annual event Terra Madre take place in Italy. Food communities from across the world came together for the four day event to share ideas and foster innovation on food culture, production and consumption. Taking place just weeks after the final event of the Good Food March in Brussels, it provided a great opportunity for groups to meet again and get ideas about how to move forward in our movement for good food and good farming.  Photos taken as part of the Good Food March photo campaign – The CAP We Want – were also on display.  For the first time, the event was combined with Salone del Gusto. Organisers deemed the event a huge success and a sign that, despite the financial crisis, the public understands the central role of food and agriculture, as well as the need for a paradigm shift within the food system. ARC2020 was at the event, speaking about the ARC2020 story so far, and the work still to be done.

As we head into November, all eyes are now on the EU budget. Heads of State will meet in Brussels on the 22 – 23 November to agree on the future EU budget for the 2014-2020 period and decide how much of tax payers’ money will fund agriculture. ARC2020 has been working closely with a number of organisations following concerns that the commitment will be made without even knowing how “green and fair” the future CAP will be. In light of the way current discussion on the reform is going, there is concern that money could be allocated with little consideration for the environment, human health, rural communities or long-term global food security.

Keep an eye out for future actions and comment from us!

Kate Mann

Latest from Brussels

EU Parliament’s Agriculture Committee met on 10 – 11 October. Here the Committee called on EU Member States to do more to improve the welfare of animals in transit. Supported measures included enforcing rules, checking journey times and imposing dissuasive penalties on offenders. It was also suggested that the EU should promote the use of local abbatoirs and consider an eight hour, EU-wide limit on journey times. Find the press release here.

In an opinion, drafted by Martin Häusling (Greens/EFA, DE) and adopted by 35 votes in favour to one against and one abstention, MEPs welcomed the Commission’s action plan on tackling anti-microbial resistance but called for new measures to fight the rising global threat.

On October 29th, the Cyprus Presidency of the Council presented its new revised Negotiating Box for the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2014-2020. The next meeting of Agricultural Ministers is scheduled for 28 – 29 November, a week after the European Council is due to meet to discuss the MFF budget proposals for the 2014-2020 periodon the 22 – 23 November.

Agricultural and Fisheries Council

On 22 – 23 October, Agriculture Ministers came together in Luxembourg for thier monthly meeting. In terms of CAP reform, the issues on the agenda were direct payments and the single common market organisation (CMO). The debate on direct payments focused on two topics: the issue of “internal convergence” and the young farmers scheme proposed to address the issue of the ageing farm population. For more on the former, see an article on the ARC2020 website. Almost all delegations acknowledged that ageing of the farming population is an issue which should be addressed in an effective and appropriate manner.

The Commission briefed the Council on an amendment to a proposal for a regulation on the financing, management and monitoring of the CAP. With regard to the amendments on the publication of the names of beneficiaries, some Member States pointed out that a lower threshold was not necessary for the sake of transparency: in their view, all beneficiaries of CAP payments should be listed. Some others expressed concerns about the details given on the beneficiaries, fearing that this process might interfere with data on private life. Find the press release here.

An interview with…

The Good Food March initiators

During the grand finale of the Good Food March in Brussels on September 19, three of the organisations behind the EU-wide civil society initiative spoke to Ed Bray, from the EU policy broadcaster – viEUws.

In the interviews, Benedikt Haerlin from ARC2020, Stanka Becheva from Friends of the Earth Europe and Carlo Bogliotti from Slow Food (3 of the 8 initiator organisations) explain why citizens, farmers and young people from across Europe have been mobilising in recent months to demand good food and good farming, and outline the changes they want to see in the CAP.

Watch them all here