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Brussels, 1st February 2024 – Luxembourg Square, in front of the European Parliament has been occupied today by thousands of farmers, protesting against a situation that has become unbearable. Germany, France, Italy, Cyprus, Malta, the Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Czech Republic: the list of countries where turmoils are bursting is growing and long-term answers by the European institutions are needed.

We stand by European Farmers” states Luigi Scordamaglia, president of Eat Europe “not only because they deserve a fair return for their efforts, but also because their work is at the heart of the European food model, producing healthy nutritious food for the European citizens. Without a robust CAP rewarding farmers for the world’s highest food safety and environmental standards, without the implementation of a truly reciprocal principle in international trade, preventing products that are not meeting those standards from having access to the EU market, without giving a chance to farmers to produce food on their land, instead than setting it aside, we will undoubtedly drive to death the European farming sector. And right after the farmers, we will see the end of the European food processing industry, deprived of the fundamental partnership with the producers. And lastly, this will dangerously affect EU citizens’ health, making healthy food a privilege for a few, leaving behind the vast majority of people”. 

The multiple and complex challenges food systems are facing today, from a changing climate to ongoing conflicts, from the loss of biodiversity to food sovereignty, need bold decisions by the European institutions, aiming at reconciling economic, social, and environmental sustainability on an equal footing. This is why farmers gathered in Brussels today. And this is why Eat Europe was born as a multistakeholder European association, bringing together all actors in the food chain, to table pragmatic proposals to drive a sustainable and resilient food systems’ transformation.

The time has come for the European Union to step up and finally recognise the contribution of millions of farmers and food industry players to meet the expectations of citizens and consumers in the EU and beyond.