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Reform of the European Common Agricultural Policy: Proposals Lack Ambition to Mainstream Sustainainability Says IFOAM EU Group

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On October 12, 2011, the European Commission unveiled its proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2014–2020. The lacks ambition where substantial commitments are needed to shape future farming to ensure the delivery of tasty food and a clean environment says the European group of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM EU Group) in a recent press release.

According to the group's president, Christopher Stopes, "this CAP reform comes at a time of scarce public funding and austerity discussions - which should be a reason to clearly re-focus funding towards measures that deliver to societal needs". Furthermore he adds "Society wants tasty and healthy food, clean water, diverse landscapes and vibrant rural economies. We also need to ensure biodiversity and food security for future generations, and food producers have to deal with climate change. All this cannot be obtained by continuing with business as usual – but although we can see some new greening attempts, the Commission proposals are much too close to that."

"The proposals paint some new doors on the wall, but pressure from civil society is necessary to finally open them up towards real progress. The texts need serious improvement if they shall deliver taxpayers sustainable value for their money" says Thomas Dosch, Vice President of the IFOAM EU Group. "Whereas we acknowledge that organic farming and other tools that are very useful for its development – such as short food supply chains – are now covered by the legislative text, a clear prioritisation across all measures is still missing. The Greening in the first pillar must be accompanied by a clear commitment to support environmental progress in the second pillar."

"An adequate financial frame for measures that deliver real environmental benefits such as organic farming must be guaranteed. We acknowledge that the Commission finally proposes at least a minimum of 25% of the budget dedicated to the environment - but this just retains the status quo and is by far insufficient to ensure the enhancement of the environment" adds Thomas Fertl, Vice President in charge of farm policy for the IFOAM EU Group.

Source: CAP reform - proposals lack ambition to mainstream sustainability. Organic farmers and civil society must now stay on the ball to ensure the CAP meets future challenges. Press release of the IFOAM EU Group of October 12, 2011

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About the IFOAM EU Group

The IFOAM EU Group represents more than 300 member organisations of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) in the EU-27, the EU accession countries and EFTA. Member organisations include: consumer, farmer and processor associations; research, education and advisory organisations; certification bodies and commercial organic companies.

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IFOAM EU Group - European Group of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
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