The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Email:,info(at)fwwatch(dot)org,Seth Gladstone -,

Coalition Demands to Put Access to Quality Affordable Food and Fair Market Prices for Farmers at Core of EU Agriculture and Food Policy


Proposals from the European Commission to reform the Common
Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013 show signs of fairer distribution
of subsidies, according to the coalition. [1]

Despite this positive development the communication came short on
proposals for stopping the collapse of family farming in Europe and
dumping in developing countries, according to the coalition. The plans
outlined also fail to address correctly climate change and the
protection of biodiversity.

The communication from the European Commission lays out a range of
laudable goals for reforming agriculture in Europe but fails to make
strong proposals by only "adapting' the current tools. Furthermore, it
makes clear that the CAP 2013 proposal based on global competitiveness
will let down its own farmers and consumers.

The communication suggests some elements for social improvements such
as a ceiling for direct payments linked to employment, payments for
small farms, and the maintenance of payments coupled to production to
sustain farms in disadvantaged rural areas. However, proposals show that
the European Commission continues to believe that agriculture and food
markets are efficient and that "competitiveness" delivers a fair
solution. The European and global crisis have shown the contrary: "free"
market orientation and international trade rules have failed.

The coalition believes that a real reform is needed to promote
environmental and socially responsible forms of farming, strengthening
food production to feed people in their own regions, instead of export
oriented and import dependent model, as well as promoting sustainable
family farms instead of large industrialized units. This reform requires
regulatory tools such as supply management, intervention and public
storage in case of conjunctural sectorial crisis and border regulation
to avoid low cost imports.

To face the big challenges for the environment, local production
cycles can respond to the future scarcity and pollution of natural
resources. The latter requires support of good agricultural practices,
including animal welfare requirements on all farms, not just cross
compliance linked with direct payments1. An agricultural model focused
first on domestic market, both here and in the developing countries, is
better for farmers in Europe and worldwide. The CAP should reward
environmental sustainability, stop supporting unsustainable practices
and achieve a balanced development of territories by including support
for rural employment, diversity of food systems and locally grown

At this stage, the communication does not measure up to the
expectations of food sovereignty, income and employment in agriculture,
sustainable management practices and protection of natural resources.
Real tools for supply management and market regulations are essential
and will require strong political will to challenge the framework and
the policies of international agreements. The coalition of farmers'
groups, social movements and NGOs in Europe call for a Common
Agricultural and Food Policy for consumers and farmers in Europe and
worldwide, not for the export-oriented food industry.

Get the whole statement and list of organizations.

For more information please contact:

ECVC: Genevieve Savigny (Fr, En) :+33 (0)625551687 and ECVC/ COAG : Andoni Garcia Arriola
(ES), +34636451569 - Paulina Novo (Es, En), European
movement for food sovereigntyandanotherCAP+31(0),
GertEngelen(Nl,Fr,En,Es),Vredeseilanden+32 (0) 49738137, Stanka Becheva (Ge,En,Bu), Friends of
the Earth Europe +32(0)28931000, - Willy
Schuster (Ro,Hu,Ge,En) - Eco Ruralis Association + 40 (0)752108184 Irmi Salzer (Ge) - Agrarbundnis Osterreich
(Au) +43 69911827634, - Jocelyn Parot, Urgenci (FR
ENG FIN), 0033687044930, - Andrea Ferrante
(it,En,fr,es) Italian Committee for Food Sovereignty, +39 348 01 89 221,

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

(202) 683-2500