Spanish farmers defend a more social farming model

September 18th – In the middle of a majestic avenue, between the representations of the European Commission and European Parliament in Madrid, COAG – one of the most important farmers unions in Spain – held their Press Conference and protest on CAP.

Surrounded by colourful agricultural products from all over Spain and a huge banner reading Agriculture is Food the entire Executive body of COAG, and all their regional general secretaries, 30 people in total, announced their farmers’ mobilisations against the current proposal of Common Agriculture Policy.

The action marked the beginning of a campaign that will see a series of protests this Autumn calling for a more social agricultural model.

Miguel Blanco, the General Secretary of COAG, announced that the event was being held in solidarity with the GOOD FOOD MARCH. He was among several hundreds of marchers in front of the European Parliament calling for a radical farming reform on September 19th.

As they stressed, this CAP is a threat to the Spanish dairy and other livestock sectors, as well as sugar beets, horticulture, cereals, potatoes, wine and so on.

Especially, in the midst of a global food crisis that is moving towards the developed countries mainly due to the the deregulation of the markets and the financial speculation on agricultural commodities COAG asserted that it is suicidal to defend a CAP that will dismantle a substantial portion of our production system agriculture.

According to Miguel Blanco, If you close the door to our agriculture, you open the doors wide to the food crisis,” adding “it is about defending our agriculture as a strategic sector, therefore, it is a matter that concerns the Spanish Government. By defending our agriculture we defend the food security for the whole of society.

COAG warned that food dependency lead to the rise of basic food prices in the medium term, that’s why it is strategic to maintain our agricultural production potential. They also alerted that the current unsustainable situation on the increase of prices of agricultural inputs such as diesel, fertilizers, electricity and above all animal feed. Only in the case of soybeans, the price has skyrocketed 78% in the last twelve months. This has lead to an unsustainable situation to all the spanish livestock sectors.

COAG are asking for another model of agricultural and food policy. Their main demands include: appropriate regulation of markets, profitable prices for the farmers, maintainance of the production quotas and rights, regulation of the food chain, defence of the Community preference principle, import controls, an aid policy aiming at promoting agricultural employment and a rural development policy that promotes agriculture, local transformation and the inclusion of youth and women.

COAG’s mobilisations are asking for another model of agricultural and food policy. Their main demands include: appropriate regulation of markets, profitable prices for the farmers, maintainance of the production quotas and rights, regulation of the food chain, defence of the Community preference principle, import controls, an aid policy aiming at promoting agricultural employment and a rural development policy that promotes agriculture, local transformation and the inclusion of youth and women.

Myrto Pispini
About Myrto Pispini 41 Articles
Myrto Pipsini’s work covers both Greece and Spain. Currently a freelancer, Myrto has 15 years experience in environmental organisations, campaigning on agriculture and food issues. Being based in Spain and Greece, and being a lover of all good and natural Mediterranean food, she is experimenting with growing her own food, putting in practice what she is campaigning for.