MEPs urged to support food production

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Next week, MEPs will vote on the next common agricultural policy and yesterday European farming unions and farm co-operatives urged them to end the uncertainty facing farmers.

The farming lobbyists Copa-Cogeca also called for the politicians to support more food production in Europe and to reject the environmental proposal that will take up to 7 per cent of land out of production.

In contrast to the UK government’s approach to the next CAP – it wants to see a shift to more environmental and indirect rural support – European lobbyists threw their weight behind production subsidies going directly to farmers. Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen said that, while he was pleased to see that some of the farmers’ demands had been taken on board by the European Parliaments’ agriculture committee in January, he wanted this support to be transferred to the full plenary session of MEPs when they meet.

On producing food, he said: “We have serious concerns that the EU will be the only state that will be cutting back on its agricultural potential at a time when there are major worries about food security.

“World food demand is expected to rise by 70 per cent by 2050 and market volatility is on the increase. That is why the EU Commission proposals to reduce the amount of land in production by as much as 7 per cent, with no clear environmental benefit, makes no sense and must be revised in the vote by parliament next week”.