More farmers better food. Why and how to put small-scale sustainable producers at the core of the new CAP

Chris Chancellor, March 2019

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Summary :

Sustainable small farmers should be put at the core of EU agricultural policy, according to a new paper released today by the Nyeleni Europe and Central Asia Platform for Food Sovereignty [1]. The strongly documented publication comes ahead of a key vote in the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee in early April, and represents the position of a pan-European coalition of farmers, peasants, pastoralists, fisherfolk, Indigenous Peoples and environmental organizations in regards to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).



The report highlights the alarming situation in rural areas and in the food system in the EU:

Between 2005 and 2016, the number of farm holdings under 50 hectares fell by 29.4%. Over 4 million holdings disappeared in just 10 years.

Increased numbers of seasonal, and often migrant workers suffer appalling working and living conditions.

Pollution linked to agrochemicals continues to have a negative impact on public health – chemical residues are found in food, nitrate and phosphorus run-off pollutes water and soil.

High levels of antibiotic use in animal farming leads to antimicrobial resistance.

Around 88 million tons of food waste is generated per year, as a result of the industrial food chain.

CAP has made the EU extremely dependent on cheap imports from regions with far lower environmental and social standards.