FUGEA and ECVC farmers return to Brussels in the face of inadequate European proposals that fail to address priority issues

ECVC Press Release: March 22, 2024

ECVC farmers will mobilise for a third time in Brussels on the 26 March, led by one of our Belgian member organisations, FUGEA. While we acknowledge some progress has been made, we demand an adequate response to our key demands centred on fair incomes and fair prices for farmers and farm workers:

  1. Put an end to free trade agreements and unfair competition, starting with a definite halt to negotiations on EU-Mercosur agreement.
  2. Strengthen the EU Directive on Unfair Trading Practices to legally ensure that prices are higher than our production costs (read our proposal).
  3. Regulate markets via the CAP to ensure fair and stable prices, protected from speculation.
  4. Ensure a sufficient budget and a fair distribution of CAP aid to enable a viable transition to agro-ecology and sustainable practices.
  5. Reduce the administrative burden on farmers, through measures that respond to current climate and environmental challenges.

Recent proposals from the European Commission[1]*, which will be discussed at the AGRIFISH meeting, are insufficient to tackle the root causes that have driven farmer protests across Europe for months.

The priority is to ensure as many farmers as possible stay in and take up the profession, while providing support for more sustainable models. For this, we need remunerative prices and support that correspond to our efforts. European policies, and the CAP in particular, must be capable of regulating markets and supporting the transition.

We note that progress has been made on the potential revision of the EU Directive on Unfair Trading Practices and the creation of an observatory on production costs, margins and commercial practices in the agri-food supply chain. But this is still not enough to guarantee fair and stable prices that provide farmers with a decent income.

We have repeated our demands throughout our mobilisations, as well as in meetings between ECVC and FUGEA and the AGRIFISH Council President David Clarinval, the cabinet of Charles Michel and Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski. They will be repeated to President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen on 10 April.

We will therefore take to the streets once more on Tuesday 26 March. We will be joined by allied organisations, NGOs and workers’ unions who have strongly supported our mobilisations and demands. Meeting point at 10.30 am at the crossroads between rue de la Loi and rue des Taciturnes.

[1] * https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_24_1493