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CIAA priorities on the CAP after 2013


24 Feb 2010


Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

As Europe’s largest manufacturing sector, comprising over 300,000 companies of which 99% are SMEs, the food and drink industry plays a vital role in the European economy. Agricultural raw materials are essential components for the food processing industries and their costs can represent an important share (up to 80%) of the food and drink manufacturer’s operating costs. 

CIAA has identified 3 key guiding principles for a CAP beyond 2013: security of supply, sustainability and market-orientation.

EU food and drink industries rely on access to adequate supplies of safe and sustainable agricultural raw materials that correspond to specific quality criteria and that are competitively priced. This is a key factor for ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the food and drink industry. For CIAA, only a market-oriented common agricultural policy can contribute to achieving this goal in the coming decade. Given the importance of agriculture in the environmental impact of food products and its role in mitigating climate change, the application of environmentally sustainable and resource-efficient agricultural practices should be a core element of any future agricultural policy.

The European agricultural sector faces a number of challenges that will affect the whole food supply chain. Some of these challenges will intensify in the coming decades:

-Increasing global demand 

-Greater price instability

-General trend towards increasing open global markets

-Finite resources

-Effects of climate change

-Limited possibilities for increasing EU farming efficiency

-Higher expectations from consumers

-Increasing number of policies impacting farming activities

-Pressure on CAP budget

These trends will also bring opportunities in the coming decades for the food supply chain. European agricultural policy must be tailored to meet both opportunities and challenges.

10 long-term objectives of the CAP 

CIAA is committed to take part in the debate on the CAP after 2013. Below are CIAA’s general expectations.

1. A common agricultural policy

The EU food and drink industry considers that a strong EU common policy for agriculture is essential for guaranteeing equitable competition conditions within the EU. Maintaining a single market for agricultural products must remain the guiding principle for the future. It is important to ensure that national flexibilities and exemptions do not create distortion which would harm the single market and the supply of raw materials to the food industry.

2. Improve policy coherence

Absolute coherence  is needed across all policy areas driving supply, including food safety, new technologies, trade, development, environment, animal welfare, consumer and social policies. Impact assessments should be a mandatory requirement when legislation, which could significantly impact on food supply, is amended or imposed. Horizontal policy coherence should result in reduced raw material market disruptions and contribute to a competitive EU agriculture. In addition, the CAP should contribute to vertical coherence by promoting improved functioning of the food supply chain.

3. Ensure balanced access to raw materials for the food and drink industry

In order to improve and maintain its competitiveness, the food and drink industry considers that CAP measures should be designed to ensure and facilitate adequate raw materials’ supply from European production whilst, at the same time, be opened to non-EU raw materials, according to the specific needs of food and drink industries. 

4. Promote sustainable and competitive agricultural production

The sustainability of agricultural production includes economic viability, social responsibility and sound environmental management. The CAP must ensure predictability for farmers, stimulate long-term production and behaviour, encourage efficient use of resources and contribute to the continuous environmental improvement in food production. 

5. Focus on agricultural raw materials’ production for food and feed

The primary role of EU agriculture is, and remains, the production of agricultural raw materials for food and feed. In turn, the common policy should primarily be dedicated to promoting a demand-driven production of agricultural raw materials.

6. Address situations of extreme price volatility

For CIAA, it is essential that the future CAP is able to address extreme price volatility without losing market orientation. The CAP should act as a safety net in view of ensuring security of supply by preventing crisis situations and remedying temporary market imbalances.

7. Contribute to global food security

EU agriculture can and should contribute to meeting increasing global demand by providing competitively priced raw materials of the appropriate quality. This will enable the EU food and drink industries, as producers of high quality foodstuffs, to take part in the global expansion of markets resulting from population growth and higher standards of living.

8. Support increased long-term R&D investment in agriculture and food industry

The CAP must support investments in new agricultural technologies, R&D, infrastructure and knowledge transfer to farmers. Investments should be aimed at improving good agricultural practices, resource efficiency, increased yields and further improved safety, quality and environmental performance of agricultural raw materials.

9. Maintain a competitive supply which meets EU standards 

Higher EU standards, notably in the areas of safety, environment, and animal welfare, may lead to distortions in production costs between EU and non-EU operators and loss in agricultural competitiveness. This concern has to be taken into account.

10. Be based on sound impact assessments

The existing CAP should be evaluated on its merits and shortcomings. This is a precondition for meeting all future objectives.

The EU agriculture budget must provide the means for this common policy and ensure that funding reaches its targets so that the agreed objectives can be achieved.


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