Strong EU farm policy needed to deliver affordable food

Published: 18 January 2011 y., Tuesday

To secure supplies of affordable food, the EU must have a strong farm policy that discourages food commodity speculation and helps more young farmers to start up, said Parliament on Tuesday. With worldwide demand growing and 16% of EU citizens below the poverty line, access to food is an increasingly important issue.

The future common agricultural policy (CAP), now being debated by EU institutions, must ensure food security for all citizens, maintain the vitality of rural areas and guarantee food production throughout the EU, say MEPs in a resolution drafted by Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D, RO), and approved in plenary on Tuesday.

The future CAP must also ensure that citizens have access to adequate supplies for affordable food, help to disseminate information about healthy diets and improve conditions for programmes such as school fruit and school milk, add MEPs.

Fighting speculation

MEPs point out that food commodity derivatives differ from other financial products, and say that they should be traded only by those "who have legitimate interests in protecting agricultural merchandise against risks".

They argue that speculative behaviour accounted for up to 50% of recent price hikes, and note that wheat contract prices, for example, rose by 70% in only two months.


To ensure that financial instruments help farmers to overcome the crisis, rather than helping speculators to provoke extreme price volatility, Parliament calls for existing EU legislation on financial instruments to be revised, so as to improve trading transparency.

MEPs also endorse the actions taken to this end by the current G20 Presidency.

Incentives for young farmers

The new CAP must also do more for young farmers. Only 7% of EU farmers are under 35 years old, but 4.5 million EU farmers are to retire in the next 10 years. MEPs ask that measures be stepped up to attract young people into farming, such as installation premiums and subsidised interest rates for loans.

Global food security

MEPs propose the creation of a "targeted global system of food stocks", with some emergency stocks to reduce hunger and others to be placed on the market when price rises threaten affordability. This system could be managed by the UN or FAO, suggest MEPs, who call on the Commission to study how best to make such a system work.

Copying, publishing, announcing any information from the portal without written permission of editorial office is prohibited.

Facebook Comments

New comment




Associated articles

The most popular articles

Related videos


Padėkime augti

New Zealand death toll passes 100

Hopes fade of finding New Zealand in Christchurch, New Zealand as rescue teams enter their fourth day with over 200 people still missing. more »

Fake tiger escapes from zoo

An employee at a Japanese zoo dons a tiger costume in an exercise to prepare staff to deal with escaped animals. more »

Christchurch earthquake morning

State of emergency is declared in Christchurch New Zealand as the death toll stands at 75, but is expected to rise. more »

EIB delivers record lending for climate action in 2010 (82906)

In 2010, the European Investment Bank (EIB) increased financing for climate action projects to EUR 19 billion, representing an impressive 30% of its lending in the European Union. more »

European Commission meets Russian Government for executive-to-executive talks

President José Manuel Barroso and the European Commission will host the Russian Government led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on 24 February 2011. more »

Egypt welcomes tourists after revolt

The Egyptian Museum and the Pyramids reopen as the nation hopes to recoup some of the tourism lost during recent unrest. more »

Egypt celebrates

Egyptians celebrate late into the night marking the one week anniversary of the end of President Hosni Mubarak's rule. more »

Japan stops hunting whales

Japan says conservation groups have forced them to stop whaling expeditions for the rest of 2011. more »

Egypt: back democratic transition and freeze Egyptian leaders' assets, say MEPs

Reacting to the dizzying changes in Egypt, MEPs passed a resolution calling on the EU to rethink and improve its political and financial strategy to assist the country’s transition to democracy, including organising free elections. more »

Cyclone Carlos slams Australia

Category 1 tropical Cyclone Carlos batters the northern Australian city of Darwin, uprooting trees and inundating homes. more »