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Monday, 26 October 2009

Demand for Reappraisal of Common Agricultural Policy

With over a billion of the Earth’s inhabitants going hungry and European agriculture in an unprecedented crisis, many French farmers used World Food Day to voice their discontent and their alarm. France Nature Environnement (FNE) believes that the two phenomena are interlinked and that the dairy crisis exposes the absurdity of the global situation. It took the opportunity to present its analysis and call for a thorough reappraisal of the CAP. The European Union has to abandon its export-oriented ambitions because it simply does not have enough farmland to attempt to feed the world. Exporting subsidized farm produce to ACP countries on a huge scale does indeed cause economic distortions leading to the decline of subsistence farming in those countries. As part of its support for such countries the EU must gradually reduce its exports while continuing to import sustainable, tropical products. Exports of basic foodstuffs should cease, except when these are temporarily needed to cope with emergencies (extreme weather, social crises, etc). This would allow the ACP countries to adjust their course, develop subsistence farming and significantly increase their food sovereignty. There is no other way to address the world food challenge.