What we want

Putting the future Common Agricultural and Food Policy at the service of all citizens

An agri­cul­tur­al and food pol­i­cy is much more than a mere sec­tor bud­get: it implies a choice by soci­ety. As it is, a deal between Euro­pean farm­ers and cit­i­zens is urgent­ly need­ed; one that would push for­ward the nec­es­sary change of the cur­rent agro-indus­tri­al sys­tem, and seal a joint com­mit­ment to sus­tain­able food chains. On this depends the long-term sus­tain­abil­i­ty of the EU’s agri­cul­tur­al means – first and fore­most the means for its farm­ers to be guar­an­teed sta­ble prices with­in fair busi­ness mod­els. A Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy, through deals of well-defined tran­si­tion modal­i­ties and sched­ules, is hence of pri­ma­ry con­cern to farm­ers them­selves, whose cur­rent pro­duc­tion mod­el match­es nei­ther the real­i­ty of a glob­al­ized mar­ket, nor the expec­ta­tions of citizens.

Attaining food sovereignty, autonomy and quality in the EU

The Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy must be a fos­ter­ing one, but one that does not sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly tar­get increas­es in pro­duc­tion vol­ume: rather it should aim at link­ing agri­cul­tur­al pro­duc­tion both to san­i­tary qual­i­ty expec­ta­tions – espe­cial­ly a pes­ti­cide-free food – and to bal­anced diets – par­tic­u­lar­ly with regard to the cur­rent excess of ani­mal pro­teins in meals. The quest for a Euro­pean food sov­er­eign­ty implies that our agri­cul­ture be made less depen­dent upon imports, and rather, relo­cat­ed, diver­si­fied, respect­ful of the EU’s ter­ri­to­r­i­al speci­fici­ties, allow­ing for a com­mon ben­e­fit to Euro­pean farm­ers and citizens.

Matching the Common Agricultural and Food Policy with development policies intended for family and peasant farming in developing countries

Includ­ed both in EU treaties and in French law, the coher­ence of devel­op­ment poli­cies implies that the Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy be framed so as to con­tribute to the Unit­ed Nations’ Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals (SDG). That is why the reform of the Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy calls for a strong com­mit­ment to a prin­ci­ple of sol­i­dar­i­ty between all famers, and an acknowl­edge­ment of the spe­cif­ic issues and stakes of the trade of raw and trans­formed agri­cul­tur­al goods in glob­al trade agree­ments. The EU must renounce free trade agree­ments reck­oned to be incom­pat­i­ble with the require­ments of fair trade, put an end to sub­si­dized expor­ta­tions, and lim­it any impor­ta­tion shown to cause farm­ers in devel­op­ing coun­tries harm, dam­age their envi­ron­ment, or in any way wors­en their work­ing and liv­ing conditions.

Triggering an agroecological transition through a reorientation of payments

Pay­ments with­in the Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy are to play a fun­da­men­tal role in push­ing food and agri­cul­tur­al sup­ply chains towards an agroe­co­log­i­cal tran­si­tion. To do so, their eli­gi­bil­i­ty cri­te­ria must be based on two tools: a com­pli­ance linked to reg­u­la­to­ry stan­dards, and the pay­ment of ser­vices pro­vid­ed to soci­ety. On the one hand, the Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy is ground­ed on a three­fold com­pli­ance: envi­ron­men­tal (pro­tec­tion of waters, air, bio­di­ver­si­ty, soil, and ani­mal wel­fare), social (labour leg­is­la­tion for agri­cul­tur­al sec­tors employ­ees) and eco­nom­i­cal (mod­u­la­tion and cap­ping of sub­si­dies accord­ing to labour). On the oth­er hand, it shifts away from mech­a­nisms mere­ly intend­ed to cope with the neg­a­tive effects of a high-inten­si­ty agri­cul­tur­al mod­el, towards valu­ing pos­i­tive exter­nal­i­ties through pay­ments pro­por­tion­al to com­mit­ments the farmer put in place vir­tu­ous prac­tices. The agroe­co­log­i­cal tran­si­tion must be sup­port­ed with­out cre­at­ing any dis­tor­tion between ter­ri­to­ries or exemp­tions between farm­ers, and tak­ing into account the efforts made, rather than out­dat­ed agri­cul­tur­al references.

Accompanying farmers’ technical and economical resilience through a reversal in the Common Agricultural and Food Policy’s schemes

In a con­text of per­ma­nent insta­bil­i­ty, a reform of the Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy must allow farm­ers to improve their tech­ni­cal and eco­nom­i­cal resilience in the face of cli­mate and san­i­tary haz­ards, as well as encour­age their auton­o­my in the man­age­ment of their activ­i­ty, cost reduc­tion and diver­si­fi­ca­tion goals (includ­ing cul­ti­vat­ed bio­di­ver­si­ty). On this issue, the pub­lic financ­ing of pri­vate insur­ance schemes does not pro­vide any long-term solu­tion; rather it con­tributes to per­pet­u­at­ing the depic­tion of farm­ers as being pow­er­less in the face of inevitable calami­ties, when the prob­lem lies in an absence of antic­i­pa­tion. On the con­trary, the real­lo­ca­tion of incen­tives must turn them towards exit­ing the vicious cir­cle of “pro­duc­ing ever more for always cheap­er” framed by agro-indus­tri­al inter­ests. The new Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy must allow the EU to min­i­mize mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions through a reaf­fir­ma­tion of Com­mu­ni­ty pref­er­ence and a revi­sion of EU com­pe­ti­tion law.

Reviving employment in the countryside through rural development policy

Address­ing the urgent need for renew­al and increase in num­ber of agri­cul­tur­al labour implies that a sen­si­ble Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy which includes pro­vi­sions to pre­vent the dis­ap­pear­ance of farm­ers from the coun­try­side, and a reap­praisal of their role. That is why the EU needs a ded­i­cat­ed land pol­i­cy, and must endow itself with means to help farm­ers set­tle, eas­ing the arrival of those new to agri­cul­ture, whilst avoid­ing land con­cen­tra­tion and land grab­bing. Farm trans­mis­sions and small farm­ers’ access to land must be favoured, and projects bear­ing per­spec­tives of added val­ue, encour­aged. Reviv­ing employ­ment in rur­al areas also requires help for those affect­ed by spe­cif­ic nat­ur­al con­straints, allow­ing for the preser­va­tion of var­ied land­scapes and a rich biodiversity.

Rethinking the Common Agricultural and Food Policy’s governance in its conception and implementation

The future Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy must clear­ly state its Euro­pean added val­ue, in con­trast with a re-nation­al­iza­tion of agri­cul­tur­al poli­cies which would deprive the EU of the means to reach its declared goals. The Euro­pean scale, and the Euro­pean scale alone, can guar­an­tee finan­cial sol­i­dar­i­ty between farm­ers and cit­i­zens between all mem­ber states. The future pol­i­cy must also make room for demo­c­ra­t­ic, delib­er­a­tive process­es on all scales of deci­sion-mak­ing and imple­men­ta­tion process­es, allow­ing both for cit­i­zens to get involved in the debat­ed issues, and for rep­re­sen­ta­tives of relat­ed gov­er­nance issues – food, land, health and envi­ron­ment – to have their say and play their role. Final­ly a manda­to­ry, inde­pen­dent and bind­ing eval­u­a­tion of the pro­posed schemes must be decid­ed, so as to restore the legit­i­ma­cy and under­stand­abil­i­ty of the Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al and Food Pol­i­cy in the eyes of its beneficiaries.