Agroecological transition requires fair prices: ECVC

The European Parliament vote on the simplification of certain CAP rules took place on Wednesday 24 April under emergency procedure without debate. ECVC takes note of this vote. ECVC underlines that certain CAP conditionality rules are not adapted to the realities of farmers, requires complex and heavy bureaucracy indeed, and is insufficient to effectively support European farmers in a transition towards more sustainable agricultural models and towards agroecology. Yet this transition is essential in the face of the seriousness of the climate and biodiversity crises. It requires a strong political commitment from all European institutions to secure the income of all European farmers through fair prices and a better distribution of public aid.

As Andoni Garcia, farmer and member of the ECVC Coordination Committee, explains “Despite having a budget of more than 50 billion euros per year, the CAP, adapted to the World Trade Organisation rules, has played a role in eliminating 40% of European farmers over the past 15 years and has not been able to support agriculture towards an agroecological transition. According to the Copernicus 2023 report* published on Monday, temperatures in Europe are increasing at a faster rate than any other continent. In a context of global instability, and with a view to open strategic autonomy, we must reestablish the role of a common food and agricultural policy to feed populations and to stabilise prices. We must have a realistic and clear agenda to ensure continued support for farmers through long-term transition contracts, working to establish 10 million new farms through a fair redistribution of aid.”

Morgan Ody, farmer and member of the ECVC Coordination Committee, also explains: “Agricultural transition will be more widely taken up if producers know that they can count on fair and stable prices. Prices constitute the basis of agricultural income: if they cover production costs, this will free up the CAP budget to help farms move towards agroecological and more sustainable forms of production and to support farms in disadvantaged geoclimatic regions, where production costs are higher.”

In the context of the European elections and the renewal of the Commission, we therefore call on the European institutions to resume the discussion with farmers’ organisations to succeed in the agroecological transition by securing the income of all European farmers.

The institutions must :

  • Ensure the European Commission services recover their technical capacity to study and collect production costs and prices, in the context of the price observatory.
  • Undertake an urgent review of the European Directive on Unfair Trading Practices, guaranteeing prices above production costs.
  • Strengthen the Common Market Organisation to ensure stable and remunerative agricultural prices for farmers, through the regulation of production quantities by sector, public stocks and minimum intervention prices.
  • Exit free trade agreements containing agriculture, starting with the EU-Mercosur agreement.