Europe with BCFN towards a new Common Agricultural Policy

Europe with BCFN towards a new Common Agricultural Policy

June 14, 2018

Europe with BCFN towards a new Common Agricultural Policy

The BCFN Form in Bruxelles was an opportunity, at the European level, to discuss a program document with recommendations and suggestions for modifying the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and overcoming the challenges of the sustainability of agri-food systems and migration.

With a current value of around €50 billion - 40% of the total EU budget -  the CAP is at the heart of the debate of the Parliament and the European Commission which has recently planned targeted cuts to increase the flexibility and authority of individual governments. Furthermore, it was one of the main themes of the meeting in Brussels on the 5 and 6 June, where the first of the three stages planned for 2018 (the next in New York in September and in Milan in November) of the 9th International Forum on Food and Nutrition was held - organized by BCFN. However, in Brussels there was also talk of migration - the other pillar of the debate, with a continuous increase in migratory flows which worries Europe. Once again, food is the fil rouge linking the two pillars: the data highlights that almost 2 percent of those who leave their homeland do so due to food insecurity and how the food sector in Europe is responsible for 20-35 percent of EU 28 greenhouse gas emissions, which are inturn responsible for climate change.

We need a “food revolution”

"We believe that the European Union, with its heritage and expertise in the food sector, can and should do more to achieve a sustainable food future for all" explained Paolo Barilla, Vice President of BCFN, citing the commitment undertaken from the international community with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be completed by 2030.

"The food and the way we produce it will play a fundamental role in order to succeed," he added. 

In his speech, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, explained the new European choices in terms of the CAP and showed his full support for the idea of moving from a policy oriented towards the increase in production to one that also encompasses health and nutrition objectives.

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 "We need to focus on a number of factors, including young people and women," said Barilla, recalling that today in Europe, only 6% of total farmers are under 35 and less than 1/3 of older farmers are woman. 

We need a complete reform” emphasized Barbara Buchner - executive director of Climate Finance. “The agri-food system must be completely redesigned and transformed” echoed Gerda Verburg, from the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement (SUN) and United Nations Assistant Secretary-General

The challenges, the recommendations, the ideas

BCFN has also promoted an "Intergovernmental Group on Food supply and Nutrition", with the aim of exploiting the potential of a global and multidisciplinary dialog on food, nutrition and the environment . To try to facilitate the transition from ideas to practice, over the two days in Belgium, BCFN presented the document "Towards a Common Agri-Food Policy" with recommendations and suggestions to create new policies in order to be able to build a truly sustainable European agri-food system.

There are three major challenges identified by the transition from an agricultural to an agri-food policy, the construction of the Mediterranean rural development model and the adoption of agri-food and rural development policies to guarantee sustainable migration.

Among the solutions proposed: greater involvement of women and young people, identification and monitoring of the most effective policies, funds dedicated to rural development, adoption of the principle of “sustainability in the first place” in the policies of the Union and support for short-term measures, accompanied by long-term planning to manage migration. 


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