Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly since the invasion of Ukraine, the agricultural sector has found itself embroiled in an ongoing crisis.
But can a Europe-wide Carbon Farming program coexist with the CAP? In this article, we explore the similarities and contradictions between the two.
Rural Europe Takes Action – No more business as usual”, the book published by ARC2020 and Form Synergies in June last year, ended with a mysterious unwritten regulation, the Common Agricultural Policy of the future.
This big vs small debate needs to be sorted out with a more detailed, targeted lens that does justice to the small-medium active farmers, individual or aggregated together in larger organisations.
During the upcoming CAP negotiations, the future of 38 per cent of the European budget will be decided. Public money must be spent for public goods. It is not a matter of what kind of technology we want to support for our agriculture; it is a matter of who will benefit from his technology, farmers or private companies.
A ‘successful’ Common Agricultural Policy reform thus defined, however, can come and go without any meaningful progress in addressing the challenge of building sustainable food systems in Europe. The problem with the CAP is not only what it does, but what as an agricultural policy it does not and cannot do. Europe urgently needs a food policy (or a ‘Common Food Policy’). There are five key reasons why this shift is required, and why the time is now ripe for it to occur.
As one of the most complex, costly, and widely disliked common EU policies, Brexit presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to end some of the absurdities and harm of the CAP – a system which has failed to support farms effectively, failed to stem the huge loss of farm diversity and failed to protect wildlife and services such as flood mitigation.
We therefore present here a blueprint for a new agricultural support scheme for the UK, drawn up by The Land and the Land Workers’ Alliance. It is based on work carried out on behalf of the European Greens, and a longer exposition of these suggestions is available online.
Many sustainable farming practices offer an alternative, bringing increased opportunities for knowledge sharing, co-working and often a greater level of appreciation from consumers, local communities and the public.
Behind all that lay a sense that in farming, we face one of the mysteries of life: how food is conjured from the soil, in an alliance with the natural world – with all its challenges of weather, pests and diseases – to support the human race in its most basic need. Farmers are at a crucial intersection between human demand and the integrity of the biosphere on which we are absolutely dependent.
The referendum vote in favour of Britain leaving the EU is causing uncertainty in many areas, not least in the future direction of agricultural policy.
As Greece enters its seventh consecutive year of deep recession, the country’s debt crisis looks more and more like an unsolvable riddle.