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

Foot and Mouth Disease: Commission adopts urgent protection measures after case in wild boar in Bulgaria

The European Commission adopted last night urgent protection measures after a wild boar, which was shot by hunters at the end of 2010 in Bulgaria, tested positive to Food and Mouth Disease (FMD). more »

€5 billion bond issue for Ireland

The European Commission today placed a €5 billion bond issue on behalf of the European Union under the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) to finance the first tranche of the EU/IMF financial support agreed for Ireland last December. more »

Chemicals: More than three million classification and labelling notifications improve information on hazardous chemicals

More than three million notifications on the classification of chemical substances in line with new EU rules have been received by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). more »

EU ratifies UN Convention on disability rights

Following formal ratification, it is the first time in history the EU has become a party to an international human rights treaty – the United Nation's (UN) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. more »

Estonia adopts the euro

Estonians will start using the euro on 1 January 2011. Good advance planning and public information should make for a smooth changeover from the kroon. more »

Commission approves first package of €100 million in support to the Palestinian people in 2011

The European Commission decided today to provide an initial financial package worth €100 million for the Occupied Palestinian Territory under the 2011 budget. more »

SUDAN: EU to observe the South Sudan Referendum

The European Union has today deployed an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the Southern Sudan Referendum, scheduled to take place between 9 and 15 January 2011. more »

EU and China to debate economic and trade issues at high level dialogue

The EU and China will hold their third High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (HED) on 20 and 21 December in Beijing. more »

Travel chaos across Europe

Snow wreaks havok on travelers across Western Europe on Sunday with thousands of flights cancelled. more »

New funds to fight Colombia floods

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos pledges fresh disaster relief funds in response to the country's devastating floods. more »