Can the CAP cope with soaring food prices and climate change and thus secure the future of European farms?
November 7, 2008
On 3 and 4 November 2008, MEPs and national MPs gathered to discuss the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) and the world food security role.
At the opening of the meeting, European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pötting announced that “the aim must be a productive, high-performance, future-oriented agriculture, which preserves rural areas”. It was said that agriculture is a good investment sector providing Europe continues producing quality food at affordable prices.
European Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel particularly stressed three important points regarding the CAP’s health check: the response of European agriculture to market signals, the need for appropriate support of farmers and the extend of response to developing challenges such as climate change.
At a time where millions of people are suffering from hunger, should priority not be given to food security? The head of UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, Jacques Diouf stated at the conference that “ Today we face a situation in which 923 million people suffer from hunger – a figure that could rise by another 100 million in a year if we do nothing” while French Farm Minister Michel Barnier said “We must learn the lessons of the financial crisis and act together with the rest of the world to meet the food challenge” putting forward a worldwide partnership for food and agriculture.”