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Thursday, 29 July 2010

EU urged to promote 'territorial vision' of farming

Meeting in Brussels earlier, agriculture stakeholders from across Europe have called on the EU to move away from intensive farming to a more sustainable model that supports the economic renaissance of rural areas. A conference organised by the European Commission in Brussels (19-20 July) heard contributions from a variety of interest groups as the EU executive prepares proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) later this year. The upcoming CAP reform was seen by many as am opportunity to achieve a "paradigm shift" from centralised intensive production towards a more territorial approach that values local differences as well as the environment. Diversity of local products and cultural identities can be a "source of wealth" and should be promoted, said Sabine Laruelle, minister of agriculture for Belgium, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency. Ideas for diversifying economic activity in rural areas include supporting farmers who process their own raw materials and renewable energy as well as initiatives to promote tourism.

Source: Euractiv