Food To change (The CAP we want in 2020 – tackling the next 10 years)
Proposal from a brainstorming session on Food and Agriculture in Europe
Date of writing: September 21, 2013
Author(s) of the proposal: Group of experts - organisations
On the initiative of FPH, Forum Synergies was inviting for a brainstorming session on the future of food and farming. On September 20-21th 2013, at La Bergerie de Villarceaux (France), 21 experts from 12 countries have discussed strategies for addressing the challenges of the upcoming years. We moved «from nightmares to visions» and widely agreed that there is a need for a general paradigm shift which puts FOOD in the centre of interest and policies.
FOOD TO CHANGE
Europe needs Good Food and Good Farming for Fundamental Change
European societies are facing a deep and multidimensional crisis: social, economical, environmental, and political. This crisis leads to very problematic conditions of living for many European citizens, particularly for the poorest and the weakest. Food is at the very heart of it.
Unsustainable farming practices and bad food put our public health in danger, lead to irreversible degradation of soils, water and biodiversity systems, and contribute to depopulation of rural areas and widespread unemployment. We will therefore work together now -across Europe- on a paradigm shift towards agro-ecological farming and healthy food systems for all.
The Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) has lost its common sense
From its outset, the Common Agriculture Policy has been an essential element of our common European project. It has been the basis for peace. However, in spite of repeated trials of reform, CAP still considers farmers and their subsidized lands as single players from the rest of the food chain and increasingly fails to respond to the multiple challenges our agriculture and food systems are facing. We wish to build upon what was good in the CAP: the common approach to food security; fair income for farmers; fair food prices for consumers; and the bottom-up approach of the LEADER method in rural development. However, today new challenges must be tackled: the impact of climate change on global food security; growing food waste; dependence of our food on imported oil, chemicals and animal feed; unfair distribution of public money between farmers and regions; unfair food trade with developing countries; speculation with land, and restricted access for young people to work in farming and the rural economy.
Steps towards a new Common Food Policy
Europe needs a new Common Food Policy which faces and solves these new challenges. It must integrate public health, climate change and biodiversity into a common policy framework so as to establish sustainable farming and food systems; it must establish fair conditions for distribution of public money based on sustainable farming and management of land, water, soil and biodiversity; it must guarantee fair food trade with developing countries. A new Common Food Policy must also contribute to new sound financing of future policies of the European Union.
We want our markets back
Markets shall serve our societies, not blackmail our politicians. Continued surplus production has devalued our food and creates health problems and unacceptable food waste. Concentration of market power has led to unjustifiable profit margins and sharp inequalities in the food value chain. We want markets to be useful for all of us: food systems allowing fair income for all farmers and fair prices for all consumers. Everyone must have access to healthy and tasty food produced under socially fair conditions. Markets must be reframed and regulated to this end.
We are moving people for change
Civil society across Europe is engaged on many levels for a radical change. Grassroots’ movements around healthy, seasonal and local food are emerging in all countries and regions. A broad alliance of civil society organizations is uniting to put into place the new Common Food Policy. We want to foster a lively exchange of best practices and create an inclusive process of all citizens and political decision-makers around the food challenge, leading to a European Citizen Food Manifesto as our basis for concrete action.
«La Bergerie de Villarceaux» September 2013
Scale of intervention : European