Future, Food, Farmers Campaign Launched on World Food Day 2012

EU - The European Council of Young Farmers, CEJA, chose World Food Day yesterday, to mark the official launch of its campaign “Future…Food…Farmers”. This campaign calls for generational renewal in the farming sector to be a priority of the future Common Agricultural Policy, in order to secure Europe’s future, food, and farmers.
calendar icon 17 October 2012
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As CAP negotiations are heating up alongside escalating budget concerns, CEJA believes it is essential that the issue of the age crisis in farming is addressed by decision-makers in this reform.

The ‘Future…Food…Farmers’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the demographic crisis in the agricultural sector in Europe among decision-makers, stakeholders and the general public. Without a sustainable demography in the sector, there will be no sustainable future for the agriculture sector.

Today, only six per cent of European farmers are under the age of 35, while one third is over 65. As the CAP reform is being discussed for the period 2014-2020, this campaign stresses that generational renewal and support for young farmers to facilitate access to the profession must be a priority. 2020 will be too late.

The campaign takes the form of a pledge to sign. Who should sign it? All stakeholders in the food and forestry sector, consumers, politicians, sectorial associations and the general public – this is an issue which affects all policy areas and all European citizens.

A number of personalities have already given their support to the cause. Amongst them, Commissioners Ciolo?, for Agriculture and Rural Development, Commissioner Lewandowski for Budget, Commissioner Poto?nik for Environment, Chairman of COMAGRI Paolo De Castro, Members of European Parliament Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, Michel Dantin, Mairead McGuinness, George Lyon, Herbert Dorfmann, Pekka Pesonen representing Copa-Cogeca, Mella Frewen representing FoodDrinkEurope, Staffan Nilsson as President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) as well as Mario Campli, President of the Agriculture Section of the EESC, among other European Personalities.

The conclusion of the campaign will be the presentation of the signatories to the CAP trilogue in 2013, represented by Commissioner Dacian Ciolo?, Chairman of the Farm Council Simon Coveney and Chair of COMAGRI Paolo De Castro.

Commenting on the campaign, Joris Baecke, President of CEJA, stated that: “It is crucial that we get the message across. World Food Day is a stark reminder of an ominous future: if Europe is running out of farmers that means our food security in the long-term is at stake. We need to facilitate the access of young people to the sector, for the benefit of the young people, for the benefit of the sector, and most importantly, for the benefit of future sustainable food production across Europe.”

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Charlotte Johnson

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