The European Commission’s communication on the Common Agricultural Policy released today simply continues to prioritise the profits of agribusiness and financial institutions over food sovereignty and the needs of small farmers and rural communities.

The Commission’s approach fails to address the serious problems faced by the sector – including price volatility, farms closing down, declining rural populations, threats to food sovereignty and climate change – at their core.

GUE/NGL Coordinator on the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Lidia Senra, explains:

“It is very worrying that the document presented by the Commissioner for Agriculture does not recognise the responsibility of the CAP in the declining number of farms in the European Union in any way.”

“It fails to acknowledge that the volatility of prices for agricultural products is a consequence of the neoliberal policies that have deregulated the agricultural sector.

“Nor does it address the negative impacts that the agro-industrial model has on climate change and food quality.

“The Commission is putting an unreasonable amount of responsibility on farmers to address the risks of climate change and agricultural crises themselves, while at the same time continuing the policies that make these problems worse.

“The Commission also continues to insist on the neoliberal strategy of modernisation and technification, which has so far only resulted in higher debt levels among farmers and their increased dependence on banks and financial institutions.”

Senra continues: “It is also disappointing that the European Commission continues to use the CAP to reinforce the export-oriented direction of farming in the EU. This model destroys small and medium farming in the EU – as well as in third countries – and violates the right of people everywhere to food sovereignty.

“In short, the Commission proposes the same old agricultural policy model that prioritises multinational companies’ profits over food sovereignty. This approach will continue to force the closure of small and medium-sized farms and increase the number of people leaving rural areas.

“As GUE/NGL we will continue working for an agro-ecological policy model, designed by and for the people, that is centred on producing quality food and ensuring food sovereignty, as well as helping to mitigate climate change,” concludes the Galician MEP.

Read the Commission communication on the Common Agricultural Policy ‘Future of Food and Farming’

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