CAP Beyond 2013 : “Europe Must Produce More, Better, In a Sustainable Manner”
Commenting on the debate of the informal Farm Minister Council meeting in Brno on the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) beyond 2013 at FEFAC’s 52nd Annual General Meeting, FEFAC President, Mr Pedro Corrêa de Barros, stressed the need for EU Farm Ministers to recognize the value of agricultural investment for the EU economy and global food security.
Corrêa de Barros stated that “this is the right time for our Farm Ministers to review the CAP affecting the competitiveness and sustainability of our EU livestock sector”. He referred to the current great economical difficulties for dairy farmers. He invited Farm Ministers to take notice of the 23 recommendations of the High-Level Group on competitiveness of the Agro-food industry including a series of practical proposals covering the whole array of Community polices including the CAP, food safety, climate change and GMOs.
With a view to the need to increase the production of food of animal origin at global scale by 50% by 2050, he underlined that it is Europe’s obligation to realize the full potential of its agricultural resources in a sustainable manner, allowing the use of modern technology to boost yields and to raise production efficiency of ecologically intensive livestock production.
He said that “FEFAC members are totally committed to support EU livestock producers in a very difficult economic situation by encouraging policies which safeguard the access to sustainable and competitive feedingstuffs”.
He noted with satisfaction that the global Roundtable for Responsible Soy, RTRS, adopted the groundbreaking global principles and criteria for the production of responsible soy at its 3rd General Assembly meeting in Campinas, Brazil, on 28 May 2009. He stressed that the new standard would ensure the protection of High-value conservation areas in the main production zones for soybeans. FEFAC will host a second RTS workshop on June 23, 2009 in Brussels to discuss with chain partners on the practical implementation of certification systems based on the core RTRS criteria for which feed companies in several EU countries have already taken commercial commitments.
Corrêa de Barros stressed that “private-public partnerships such as the RTRS are a crucial instrument to reach global policy targets linked to climate change. They can provide mainstream solutions for the farming sector at a minimum cost”. He also stressed that in a market environment which will see a continuing trend to rising raw material prices due to a rising global demand for products of animal origin and biofuels, it is extremely important that the EU supports the innovation capacity of the EU agro-food industry through target research programs and a tailor-made Policy protecting Intellectual Property Rights as laid down in the new regulation for the placing on the market and use of feed. He undermined that “The feed industry’s key contribution to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of livestock farmers lies in its capacity to get the best nutritional value from co-products of the food industry; this know-how needs to be protected to allow feed producers and farmers reaching sustainability objectives linked to the reduction of GHG emissions through better feed formulations”.