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The CAP Concerns All!

23 July 2010

EU - The conference "CAP post 2013" concluded earlier this week in Brussels. The majority of participants came to the conclusion that a comprehensive reform of the EU agricultural policy is needed. Representatives of the European Milk Board (EMB) who attended the conference emphasise that future policy should be oriented towards the interests of dairy farmers and consumers.

With this conference European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos forged a new path. Civil society shall be more involved in defining the goals and instruments of the EU agricultural policy. Consequently, people from all walks of life as well as many critical experts took part, not only as speakers on the podium but also in the audience.

Romuald Schaber, president of the European Milk Board (EMB) stated: "During the conference many people mentioned that it is of great importance that producers obtain prices on the dairy market that cover their production costs.

"The agricultural policy has to provide the rules and instruments to enable producers to organise themselves so that they can negotiate prices and volumes on an equal footing with the industry.”

Mr Schaber added: “That is a vital prerequisite for the younger generation of producers to venture into agriculture. Today only seven per cent of farmers in Europe are under 35 years of age. So young people can see a future in agriculture, favourable conditions and confidence of a guaranteed income are essential. For this purpose rules for regulating the market are needed.”

Sonja Korspeter, Secretary General of the EMB, stressed that: „We need competition for quality and not just competition at any price. It is absolutely clear that we cannot sustain high quality production in the long-term, if the price in terms of products remains at such a low level. This means that we have to strengthen the producers in the food chain, independent from cooperatives, so that they can obtain prices that cover their production costs. Other services provided for the society can be remunerated by compensation payments.”

European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos underlined in his closing statement that the diversity of farms is a European trademark: "This is all about compensatory justice, not about uniformity”.

The Commissioner said: „Food security should be a vital aspect of a future agricultural policy” and he added: “Employment in rural areas is a crucial issue.” He said that economic and ecological aspects have to be taken into account in equal measure.

Furthermore Mr Ciolos stressed: “The Common Agricultural Policy concerns all of us!”

The European Milk Board shares this opinion and that is why the EMB supports ARC, the Agricultural and Rural Convention ( www.arc2020.eu) and is committed to developing proposals together with civil society to include them actively in the reform process of the EU agricultural policy.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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