Parliament Magazine 7th November 2011 – The single biggest threat to European food security arises from widespread unsustainable farming and livestock practices based upon monocultures, over-dependence on pesticides, fertilizers and feed imports, and leading to water overuse and soil degradation.
In the last 8 years, 20% of farms have disappeared, often the most environmentally valuable ones, whereas another 20% of farms, often environmentally damaging, scooped up 80% of CAP subsidies.
In times of austerity and budget constraints, every Euro matters. If we are to continue to spend substantial amounts of public money on the farming sector, this needs to incentivise farmers to move toward sustainable agriculture, and create the conditions for fair market income for farmers. The CAP can only regain its legitimacy if it uses the funds for a long term investment in the protection of the resource base that underpins all farming.
The greening of the CAP as currently proposed by the Commission is far too weak. Unless it is significantly strengthened, the EU will fail to address the serious problems of our farming sector, severely damaging our environment, food security, future perspectives of our farms and the credibility of the EU itself.
A defensible CAP must include, as a bare minimum, a meaningful package of basic measures including ecological focus areas, crop rotation and grassland protection. It must also include robust cross compliance and a significant strengthening of rural development.
Protecting the natural resources that farming depends on, and which are essential to ensure its mid and long term economic viability, has to be part of the solution.
The opportunity for a real reform should not be sacrificed in order to please vested interests.
We appeal to ALL Members of the European Parliament to take a stand for a green reform. The future of our farmers, our food and our environment depends on it.
- French translation (PDF): Notre sécurité alimentaire à long terme est entre vos mains
- German translation (PDF): Unsere langfristige Lebensmittelsicherheit liegt in euren Händen
- Polish Translation (PDF): Nasze bezpieczeństwo żywnościowe jest w twoich rękach
- Romanian Translation (PDF): Securitatea noastra alimentara este in mainile tale!
Contributors: ARC, BirdLife International, European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace, IFOAM EU Group, Pesticide Action Network Europe and WWF