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Another European agricultural policy is urgent!
17 April 2008
COAG – CPE, Members of Via Campesina – April 17th, International day of peasant struggle
At the occasion of the international day of the peasant struggle, the European organizations members of Via Campesina call for resistance to the power of the multinational corporations on our food. The crisis related to the rise of the food prices shows that the logic of the market can not ensure the food safety of the peoples. On the contrary, the liberalization of the markets and the privatization of the agricultural resources, in particular through the multilateral (WTO) and bilateral (FTA and EPA) free trade agreements worsen the speculation on the agricultural markets and thus cause an instability of the farm prices which has dramatic consequences at the same time for the consumers and the small producers.
In Europe, the farmers are themselves also victims of the power of the multinational corporations, and in particular of the influence of the interests of the large firms on the agricultural and commercial policies of the European Union. Each day, tens of small farms disappear fault from a real political will of making sustainable family agriculture thrive.
However, the development of a diverse, sustainable family farming attached to the territories is essential to answer the challenges that represent food safety, mass unemployment, climatic change, destruction of biodiversity and the energetic crisis in Europe. Whereas industrial agriculture causes a dramatic energy and natural resources waste, sustainable family farming is intensive in human work and is able to produce more with less resources. Thus, if the crisis of the food prices must lead us to intensify the production, the option of the sustainable family farming must be privileged. We need more farmers in Europe!
To support sustainable family farming, we need major changes in the European agricultural policy. It should be based on the right to food sovereignty, i.e. the right of the people to define their own agricultural and food policies without “dumping” towards the other countries. It must have as a priority, not competitiveness on the international markets, but the development of agricultural employment in all European areas for a sustainable and relocated production.
Coordination Paysanne Européenne
European Farmers Coordination
Coordinadora Campesina Europea