EUROPEAN FARMERS AND AGRI-COOPERATIVES CALLING FOR STRONG EU BUDGET 2014 -2020FOR A STRONG CAP

20130203-163625.jpgFarmers and Agri-Cooperatives from across Europe united in Brussels today to approve a major declaration calling for a strong Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), backed by a strong EU budget 2014-20. Further expenditure cuts will threaten food security and growth and employment in EU rural areas. The move comes just before EU heads of states and governments are set to make a decision on the future EU budget 2014-20 in Brussels on February 7-8. A rapid decision is vital to end the uncertainty currently facing farmers. Speaking in Brussels on the approval thedeclaration, attended by over 400 EU farmer and agri- cooperative representatives, CopaPresident GerdSonnleitnerinsisted “The current CAP costs less than 1% of the total EU public expenditure. In return it provides the EU’s 500 million citizens with huge benefits. In particular, it provides consumers with a choice of safe, secure, quality food supplies at affordable prices and ensures employment for 26 million people on farms and 10 million in related sectors mostly in the EU rural areas. It also ensures an attractive countryside– farmers and foresters look after three quarters of the EU territory. But farmers throughout the world are facing huge challenges. Climate change is resulting in more violent storms, more prolonged drought and changes in the growing season. Farmers and agri- cooperatives are the first in line to face these increased risks. Without the CAP, consumers would bear the brunt of them too. Food security can no longer be taken for granted. A strategic sector – agriculture – demands a strategic policy. Now is not the time to weaken the CAP. We need a strong CAP, backed by a strong budget, more than ever before. There must be no cut in the CAP budget. Farmers across Europe are united in their call for a strong CAP budget. Actions are taking place across Europe”. CogecaVice-President Antónia Figueiredo continued “Rising input costs which barely cover market prices are hitting farmers and agri-cooperatives hard. Market volatility is also one of the biggest ones confronting them at the moment as well as unfair, unbalanced and abusive practices in the food chain. To respond to these, we need different and tailor made solutions. These are delivered through the CAP both in its first and second pillar. We need to make farming even more efficient, profitable and modern. We need investment support for farmers to enable them to become more efficient which in turn will help the environment and also reduce costs too. We need a good agreement on the budget to ensure a strong CAP. We need to put a stop to the uncertainty farmers are facing, and for that a rapid agreement is needed”. Wrapping up, Mr Sonnleitner and Ms Figueiredo urged EU heads of state, MEPs and the European Commission to maintain the current budget for the CAP over the period 2014 to 2020. Without a strong CAP, unemployment in the EU rural areas would increase, which risks deepening the current economic crisis. “We need a clear signal to be sent to the EU Institutions that lays the foundations for a sustainable agriculture policy that will provide a sound future for farming families”, they stressed.

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campo-di-maisFarmers and Agri-Cooperatives from across Europe united in Brussels today to approve a major declaration calling for a strong Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), backed by a strong EU budget 2014-20. Further expenditure cuts will threaten food security and growth and employment in EU rural areas. The move comes just before EU heads of states and governments are set to make a decision on the future EU budget 2014-20 in Brussels on February 7-8. A rapid decision is vital to end the uncertainty currently facing farmers. Speaking in Brussels on the approval thedeclaration, attended by over 400 EU farmer and agri- cooperative representatives, CopaPresident GerdSonnleitnerinsisted “The current CAP costs less than 1% of the total EU public expenditure.  In return it provides the EU’s 500 million citizens with huge benefits. In particular, it provides consumers with a choice of safe, secure, quality food supplies at affordable prices and ensures employment for 26 million people on farms and 10 million in related sectors mostly in the EU rural areas. It also ensures an attractive countryside– farmers and foresters look after three quarters of the EU territory. But farmers throughout the world are facing huge challenges. Climate change is resulting in more violent storms, more prolonged drought and changes in the growing season. Farmers and agri- cooperatives are the first in line to face these increased risks.  Without the CAP, consumers would bear the brunt of them too. Food security can no longer be taken for granted.  A strategic sector – agriculture – demands a strategic policy. Now is not the time to weaken the CAP. We need a strong CAP, backed by a strong budget, more than ever before. There must be no cut in the CAP budget. Farmers across Europe are united in their call for a strong CAP budget. Actions are taking place across Europe”. CogecaVice-President Antónia Figueiredo continued “Rising input costs which barely cover market prices are hitting farmers and agri-cooperatives hard. Market volatility is also one of the biggest ones confronting them at the moment as well as unfair, unbalanced and abusive practices in the food chain. To respond to these, we need different and tailor made solutions. These are delivered through the CAP both in its first and second pillar. We need to make farming even more efficient, profitable and modern. We need investment support for farmers to enable them to become more efficient which in turn will help the environment and also reduce costs too. We need a good agreement on the budget to ensure a strong CAP. We need to put a stop to the uncertainty farmers are facing, and for that a rapid agreement is needed”. Wrapping up, Mr Sonnleitner and Ms Figueiredo urged EU heads of state, MEPs and the European Commission to maintain the current budget for the CAP over the period 2014 to 2020. Without a strong CAP, unemployment in the EU rural areas would increase, which risks deepening the current economic crisis. “We need a clear signal to be sent to the EU Institutions that lays the foundations for a sustainable agriculture policy that will provide a sound future for farming families”, they stressed.

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