Tag Archives: common agricultural policy

€3.5 bilion AID FOR THE MOST DEPRIVED

EU food aid

EU food aid 

The fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) in 2014-2020 will be maintained at €3.5 billion, the same figure as in 2007-2013, under an informal deal concluded by Parliament and Council negotiators.

“The fund is aimed at helping the most deprived in all Member States. Sadly, 40 million people across Europe cannot afford to put basic meal on their table every second day. Four million people are homeless. The fund will seek to alleviate the immediate effects of extreme deprivation and will support the process of bringing people in from the margins of society”, said Parliament’s rapporteur for the FEAD, Emer Costello.

The new programme for 2014 to 2020 is intended to replace the Food Distribution Programme, which was designed to use up food surpluses produced under the Common Agricultural Policy.

The fund’s scope will be expanded to include two operational programmes designed to provide food distribution aid and basic material assistance and also social inclusion measures for the EU’s most deoprived citizens.

FEAD will also support food donations and in particular the collection, transportation and distribution of food, thus helping to reduce food waste. It will also support measures contributing to a healthy diet.

Henry Borzi

CEJA HIGHLIGHTS ROLE OF YOUNG FARMERS IN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

agriculture, a future which concerns all of us

agriculture, a future which concerns all of us

On 29 October 2013, the President of the European Council of Young Farmers, Matteo Bartolini, addressed a high-level conference organised by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), at the Residence Palace in Brussels. The conference, entitled “From a grey deal to a green implementation of the future CAP?” focused on the rolling out of the greening measures and recommendations for biodiversity-friendly Rural Development policy post 2013. The CEJA President spoke on the panel focusing on the final Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) deal, and underlined the importance of young farmers in the environmental sustainability debate in agriculture.

Mr Bartolini’s intervention followed that of EEB’s senior policy officer Faustine Defossez and DG AGRI’s Pierre Bascou, and outlined the importance of young farmers in securing a more sustainable future for European agriculture. Considering that young farmers are better-educated, more technologically-aware and more innovative than their older peers, there is a clear need to invest in young farmers and encourage generational renewal in the sector in order to achieve a more environmentally-conscious one.

The CEJA President advocated the importance of support for young farmers in the environmental context, stating that: “We need sustainability across the European agricultural sector. Not just an environmentally and economically sustainable sector, but also a demographically sustainable one which can provide us with an agricultural model which can increasingly deliver safe, high quality food.” Mr Bartolini ended his speech by welcoming the final agreement on CAP reform and looking towards the future, including the greening measures, saying: “The income support which will be provided to farmers in this new CAP, targeting environment, innovation, research and development will ensure a more balanced agricultural policy among Member States in future.”

The interventions were followed by a lively debate with the moderator, Alan Matthews from Trinity College and the audience concerning the implementation of the CAP’s greening measures, particularly in terms of the ‘equivalence’ concept.

YOUG FARMERS ATTEND EC COMMISSION CONFERENCE ON DAIRY SECTOR

On 24 June 2013, the European Commission held a full-day conference on “The EU Dairy Sector: Developing Beyond 2015”, in the context of the abolition of the milk quotas that year. 20 CEJA young farmers attended the conference from across the European Union (EU) in order to contribute to the important discussion on the future of the sector, particularly in the context of competitiveness on the international market.

vaches The conference, set on a backdrop of concerns that the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will not be able to address issues related to the end of the milk quotas in 2015, focused on new ideas for additional policy tools to keep the future of the EU dairy sector sustainable. The conference was invite-only, and participants included a number of European producers as well as Ministers and senior ministry officials; Members of the European Parliament; and representatives from national permanent representations, industry, consumers and environmental groups. The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş, opened the conference with a speech focusing on the reasoning behind the conference and the importance of input from participants, stating that: “Things are now in your hands. I encourage you to come forward with analyses, questions and ideas which are pragmatic and realistic given the diversity of the European dairy sector.”

This was followed by detailed presentations from experts, presenting market data and projections for the next years of European dairy production, particularly in terms of the international market context. Participants were then divided into workshops to “brainstorm” suggestions to ensure territorial sustainability of the sector, to combat market volatility and to rebalance the food supply chain. During the concluding plenary session, CEJA Vice-President Paola Del Castillo spoke on the subject of attracting young farmers to the dairy sector, highlighting the fact that: “The future of the sector depends on young people; so the sector needs profitability, market transparency and improved access in order to attract young farmers.” Speaking after the conference, CEJA President Mr Bartolini added: “CEJA is committed to working with these ideas in order to develop concrete suggestions for the future to submit to the European Commission, in an attempt to further the work which has begun today. The dairy sector presents important opportunities for young farmers entering agriculture, and we must ensure that it has the future prospects to accommodate them.”

NEW CEJA PRESIDENT ADDRESSES EUROPEAN YOUNG FARMERS

On 29 August 2013, CEJA (Confederation Europeenne des Jeunes Agriculteurs)  President, Matteo Bartolini, opened the conference to a hundred  young farmers from across Hungary, Slovakia and the rest of Europe in Tata, Hungary.

vigneto_montecorno

The young farmer and winegrower from Umbria, Italy, gave an overview of the content of the recently agreed  Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform to the audience of young farmers, underlining the  importance of the inclusion of a strong common installation policy in the new CAP, made-up of strong measures in both Pillars.

Mr Bartolini then called upon the young farmers to contact their ministers about these issues, to ensure that they get the best deal they possibly can out of this monumental reform of the CAP.

Other speakers included agricultural experts, advisors, and representatives from both the Hungarian and Slovakian ministries, as well as both Presidents of the two national young farmer organisations; AGRYA in Hungary and ASYF in Slovakia.

The conference focused on the future framework of agricultural policy in the European Union (EU) following on from the June political agreement on CAP which was made on 26 June 2013.

This agreement included a mandatory top-up of direct payments for young farmers and installation aid under rural development, among other policies.
This is why it is crucial that all Member States stand by what they have previously said about the  need for generational renewal in the EU agricultural sector, and choose a calculation method which maximises the 2% of their national budget in their particular situation; opt for young farmer installation aid as a key part of their Rural Development Programme, for which particularly high co-financing rates are available if a Member State requires them; and select most favourable and relevant measures possible as part of their young farmer subprogramme.

Speaking directly to the Hungarian and Slovak young farmers present at the conference, the CEJA President called on the audience for their support, saying: “We will do our best to represent your views at the European level and to achieve progress for young farmers across the Union. I, and my team of Vice-Presidents, will dedicate the coming months to ensure that farmers across the EU get  the best deal possible out of the CAP reform; Europe can now start to implement serious measures  to address the age crisis in European agriculture.”