20 Mar 2012 – According to the European Dairy Association (EDA), the primary objective of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should be ensuring food security for the citizens of the EU whilst making a contribution to the food security of the rest of the world. EDA say they are pleased to contribute to the ongoing discussions on how this primary objective can be combined with incentives to assure full sustainability.
‘The European processing industry has an immediate interest in the future success and competitiveness of European dairy farmers’ says Joop Kleibeuker, Secretary-General of EDA. ‘To prosper in an increasingly globalised market environment the European processing industry needs a competitively priced supply of high quality raw milk. At the same time both European dairy farmers and processors need to take on the challenge of improving sustainability.’
EDA welcomes the in-depth discussions, as these are now developing, about the direction of the CAP reform on the basis of the proposals presented last autumn by the European Commission. Commenting on the Commission proposals, EDA believes that the primary objective of the single farm payment measure should remain the delivery of income support to farmers in compensation for the provision of public goods. In this context, the call for greening measures should be adapted so that a balance between environmental concerns and food security objectives can be attained. EDA emphasises that the proposed shift towards flat rate payments within Member States would lead to a disproportionally negative impact on EU dairy farmers and calls for this impact to be minimised by flexible implementation.
‘With regard to market management measures’, Kleibeuker continues, ‘in the long run the safety net should be adapted in such a way to provide effective protection from extremes of downward price volatility, without offering an incentive for farmers to produce.’
‘In our view the CAP Reform package should be aimed at making European agriculture innovative, dynamic and sustainable economically, environmentally and socially. A successful and highly competitive EU agriculture will be beneficial for all parties involved,’ concludes Joop Kleibeuker, Secretary-General of EDA.