In slechts één bladzijde wist Platform ABC op plastische wijze fundamentele kritiek samen te vatten op de doelstellingen van de EU Commissie die onlangs gepubliceerd werden. Zie hieronder. Deze kritiek werd op 12 juni opgepakt door Esther Ouwehand (P vd Dieren) in het Algemeen Overleg van de Commissie Landbouw en Visserij van de Tweede Kamer .
EU Commission: practise what you preach!
The new CAP (Common Agricultural Policy for Europe 2021-2027) has now, summer 2018, been outlined. As a platform of farmers’ organisations and sympathisers who advocate an ecologically and economically viable agricultural sector we want to express our amazement and concern at the INCOHERENCE of the Commission’s objectives:
- How on earth can we, farmers, acquire a ‘viable farm income and become more resilient to support food security’ while the Commission sticks to the current free market ideology, i.e. worldwide competition leading to rock-bottom volatile farmgate prices instead?
- How on earth can we farmers ‘increase competitiveness and enhance market orientation’ even further, while the EU presents us with uneven playing fields by allowing imports from third countries that are produced at lower environmental and health standards? Why should the EU sheepishly follow the WTO in this respect, and sign treaties like CETA, TTIP and Mercosur?
- How on earth can our ‘position in the value chain be improved’ as long as big firms are allowed to monopolise world markets and squeeze the last drop out of us? As relatively small and numerous suppliers of raw materials we are positioned at the very beginning of supplychains in which considerable value is added in processing and trade. The EU shirks it responsibility and does not allow us to really strengthen our position.
- How on earth can we ‘contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as sustainable energy’ when our first concern is to stay in business? As a result of the ‘free’ market ideology (free for whom?) we have to deal with bottom prices only slightly alleviated by EU income support.
- How on earth can we ‘foster sustainable development (in countries in the South) and efficient management of natural resources’ in view of the EPA agreements forcing these countries to open their markets, so that (supported) EU Agricultural imports push them from their own markets? This leads to numerous jobless youngsters fleeing to Europe.
- How on earth can we ‘contribute to the protection of biodiversity and preserve habitats and landscapes’ (and carefully restore our soils and biodiversity, for we don’t want a Silent Spring), if we have to work very long hours using every square yard of our fields just to make a decent living? This is due to the low prices for our products and the ever rising prices of farm inputs.
- How on earth can we ‘attract young farmers and facilitate business development’ while our sons and daughters see with their own eyes how their parents are toiling away at the daily work on the farm and at their struggles with the bank?
- How on earth can we ‘promote employment, growth, social inclusion and local development in rural areas’ as long as farmgate prices are below real production costs? No wonder rural areas are emptying and local development is stagnating; the ‘free’ market ideology is geared to international and not to regional trade.
- How on earth can we ‘improve the response of agriculture to societal demands on food and health, as well as animal welfare’ when food from third countries not meeting EU standards can freely enter the EU, and when supermarkets use our excellent products to entice their customers to their shops to buy mostly cheap processed foods causing obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure?
We demand a long overdue transition to a COHERENT farmer- and climate-friendly economic system.
Europe is in a unique position to start moving away from the ‘free market ideology’ which is geared to the interests of the big food monopolies and the land investors. Instead Europe should be brave enough to lead the way to modern ways of market regulation which put the farmer and the climate in first position.