Press launch: The EU governments should not going through the disaster within the agricultural and meals coverage

October 19, 2020, Luxembourg / Brussels

Today, the Luxembourg agricultural campaign network Meng Landwirtschaft – Mäi Choix protested outside the Agriculture Council meeting to criticize EU governments for stalling EU food and agriculture reforms (1). The protest, in line with the voices of many across Europe, took place as Agriculture Ministers were set to reach a political agreement on the EU's agricultural reform package.

European farmers, food activists and environmental activists join forces in October under the motto Good Food Good Farming to call for better food and agriculture policies.

Mathieu Wittmann from Meng Agriculture – Mäi Choix said: “Change is necessary and desired. In March 3,600 scientists called for a revision of the Common Agricultural Policy, warning that changes are urgently needed to reverse damage, restore nature and produce sustainable crops. (2) We protest on behalf of thousands of farmers and people who are calling for agricultural reforms across Europe. Another seven years of a CAP that does not effectively tackle agro-ecological, biological and climate-related challenges are acts of sabotage. We call on Ministers and Members of the European Parliament to support the transition to sustainable agriculture, to keep farmers in their jobs and to stop supporting the agribusiness. "

Elisabeth Fresen, farmer in Northern Germany and chairwoman of the working group for rural agriculture, commented: “Our companies are facing major changes in the interest of more environmental protection and animal welfare. The compromises that are emerging in the Council and Parliament will not provide the financial support we need to face these challenges. We therefore again call on all decision-makers to support the annual increase in the share of CAP funds earmarked for effective environmental and animal welfare measures by farmers. This is the only way to ensure the necessary transformation. "

Harriet Bradley, EU Representative for Agriculture Policy, BirdLife Europe: “The intense farm lobby clearly has a stranglehold on the council and many of the senior MPs. But we never expected that political groups, especially the socialist and the renewal groups, who advocated increased climate protection a week ago, would vote against nature and climate protection measures the following week. We have to judge the main group compromise agreement in the European Parliament by its impact on climate and biodiversity, and it is clear that it will do more harm than good in the coming crucial decade. MEPs have to vote with their conscience. "

Current status of negotiations:

The agriculture ministers should reach a political agreement on the reform proposals of the CAP. The ministers are expected to maintain the controversial payments per hectare and to minimize the planned aid for environmental and climate protection measures and environmental programs. The European Parliament will vote on its position on Wednesday. Compromise amendments tabled jointly by Conservatives, Socialists and Liberals weaken the Commission's proposal.

Good food Good farming campaign:

In October, civil society and agricultural organizations host around 70 events and protests in 12 European countries to support the transition to good nutrition, sustainable agriculture and resilient livelihoods. The European Days of Action for Good Food and Agriculture have urged decision-makers to deliver solutions during the CAP reform since 2018, in which more than 300 organizations from 22 European countries participated. Despite the limitations of Covid-19, this year's activity card includes a number of street protests, farm visits and online conferences:
https://www.goodfoodgoodfarming.eu/#actions

ENDS.

Notes for editors:

(1) Photos of the protest will be available on October 19th from 12 noon. Lunch here: https://t1p.de/e6zn

(2) 3,600 scientists called for a revision of the common agricultural policy at https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/pan3.10080

For further information please contact:

Mathieu Wittmann, Political Officer at natur & ëmwelt, Member of Meng Agriculture – Mäi Choix Luxembourg. Meng Landwirtschaft is a network of 22 civil society organizations that work for a sustainable, ecological, healthy and socially fair agricultural and food production system.
+352 29 04 04 1
[email protected]

Honey kohan, Media Officer at BirdLife Europe who works closely on the latest developments in the negotiations on the CAP
+32 (0) 483 55 95 43
[email protected]

Elisabeth Fresen, Chairman of the Working Group on Peasant Agriculture (AbL e.V.), the German small farmers' union, the member of Via Campesina and the German agricultural reform network We're fed up with it!
+49 (0) 163 970 96 45
[email protected] (Interviews only in German)

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