Europe needs a common vision for the future of its agri-food systems

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Brussels, 7 March 2018.

On March 6th 2018, Farm Europe presented at the European Parliament in Brussels the results and recommendations of the Global Food Forum 2017, which draws on a year of consultations and discussions among stakeholders.

We need a truly common European approach to build a shared ambition, to secure the integrity of the internal market and to ensure solidarity between territories”, stressed Massimiliano Giansanti, President of Confagricoltura and of the GFF 2017.

The GFF2017 report highlights 5 key actions that needs to be included in the future CAP (full report available here Report Global Food Forum 2017 FINAL) in order to boost the economic and environmental performance of EU agri-food systems:

  1. A six-years action plan for economic & environmental performance, focusing on the precision and digital green revolution ;
  1. A coherent set of complementary tools to strengthen the resilience of EU farms with a proper tool box of risk management tools associated with a renewed crisis reserve for crisis management ;
  1. A territorial balance of agriculture secured by sectorial integrated strategies supported by investments levers;
  1. A cooperation spirit within the food chain via proper competition law ;
  1. And overall a fair, simple & direct relation between the CAP and farmers with a clear EU legal framework associated.

On this occasion Michel Dantin, MEP hosting the debate stated:

“We must have the courage to propose an adaptation of the current framework. The proposal to put in place a new delivery model will only be a good proposal if it ensures a real simplification, not only for DG AGRI and the Member States, but especially for farmers. The CAP must provide answers to ensure the resilience of the agricultural sectors. The CAP is not meant to be just an environmental policy, because without economic sustainability of the sector and territories, farmers will not be able to meet our environmental and climate targets. The CAP must therefore renew its support to investment, scientific progress, research and innovation and access to finance”.

MEP Paolo de Castro, co-hosting the debate concluded that:

“We have to rebuild a common sense around the idea of Europe, and this cannot disregard agriculture. Not only the historical and central role that agriculture has played in the process of European construction, but, more importantly, for its crucial relevance in the future. Decisive challenges pass through agriculture, such as food security, environmental sustainability, but also economic growth and employment. For the future, I expect a strong Common Agricultural Policy, although different from now, but still able to support the socio-economic function of the agricultural sector, which remains essential”.

The second edition of the GFF was held in October 2017, with a series of preparatory events across Europe (‒-can-we-seize-it/). The overall process gathered around 600 economic and political leaders from 13 Member States with the aim to discuss the future of agri-food systems and EU policies towards them.

The Forum was an opportunity to identify and flesh out the most effective policy levers to boost the economic and environmental performance of the EU’s food supply chain ‒ to go beyond the conflict between these goals.

Next Edition, the Global Food Forum 2018, will take place this year on the 6th and 7th September.