28 Mar 2017
THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY – 28 MARCHBrussels Daily
Excerpts from Phil Hogan’s Address to the Forum for the Future of Agriculture – Is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) fit for the SDG age?
The CAP has ensured food security in Europe since shortly after the end of the Second World War. Today it provides food security to millions of people way beyond the EU and, despite all the laudable objectives of helping people to feed themselves, that will continue to be the case, at least for decades to come.
The CAP also ensures that the people of Europe have access to high quality food, produced to the highest standards in the world.
If we are to maintain food security and the highest food standards in the world, we must continue to support European farmers through the CAP.
In addition, the CAP is a policy that reaches out to all parts of Europe, even to the most marginal rural areas. And this is where we need to act. The highest rate of poverty in the EU nowadays is to be found in rural areas.
The CAP is a policy that enables jobs, economic development and growth in those areas where it is most needed. The CAP is at the root of a vibrant agri-food sector, which provides for 44 million jobs in the EU. We should use this potential more.
Having said this about the policy, it is clear that it needs to adapt and modernise for the 21st century. Food has to be put at the centre of the debate and farmers actions have to be directed accordingly.
We must remember that the CAP is an economic, environmental and social policy and each one of these objectives is as important as the other. The choice is not a binary choice between one objective and another. It is a choice between a policy that delivers effectively for its stakeholders, including taxpayers, and one that doesn’t. Read full Address to the Forum for the Future of Agriculture 28 March 2017