EU food and drink industry’s statement on the CAP after 2013 in view of the Informal Farm Council on 19‐21 September 2010

Date

21 Sep 2010

Sections

Agriculture & Food

Press release

The debate on the CAP after 2013 entered a strategic stage. Ahead of the Commission’s Communication on the CAP post‐2013 in November, ministers will meet for an Informal Farm Council on 19‐21 September, with the aim to review the outcome of the recent public debate and to discuss possible orientations of the CAP.
As Europe’s largest manufacturing sector, the food and drink industry plays a vital role in the European economy, employing directly 4.4 million people mainly in rural areas. For the food and drink industry, agricultural raw materials are essential components. The industry processes 70% of the European agricultural production and has, with the farming sector, a common interest in promoting a productive, competitive and sustainable European agriculture.

In advance of the Informal Council, CIAA calls on the ministers to consider the 5 following key principles which should guide the design of the CAP post‐2013.

-Maintain and reinforce the producing role of European agriculture for food and feed
-Ensure the commonality of European agricultural policy and avoid renationalisation
-Improve coherence across policies impacting supply
-Further develop the market‐orientation of the CAP
-Promote a European sustainable agriculture
Brussels

-Maintain and reinforce the producing role of European agriculture for food and feed
One of the main future challenges is food security. Both to meet European demand and to respond to global demand, the EU food and drink industry needs adequate1 supply of raw materials.

The production of agricultural raw materials for food and feed must remain the core business of farming objective, based on market demands. This is essential for ensuring the competitiveness of the food and drink industry in the years to come and, therefore, for the viability of a pillar of the EU economy. The CAP has a key role to play in contributing to conditions for a European sustainable and competitive farming sector, whilst, at the same time, be opened to non‐EU raw materials, according to the specific

needs of food and drink industries.

-Ensure the commonality of European agricultural policy and avoid renationalisation
A strong common policy for agriculture is essential for guaranteeing equitable competition conditions within the EU internal market. National flexibilities and exemptions, aimed at adapting the CAP to local specificities, should not create distortion which would harm the single market and the supply of raw materials for the food and drink industry.

-Improve coherence across policies impacting supply
The future CAP will inevitably cover some of the upcoming challenges but not all. An increasing number of other policies such as food safety, new technologies, trade, development, environment, consumer and social policy are impacting farming activities and the supply of raw materials.
A common vision by the Commission, which should lead to absolute coherence across all policies impacting supply, is essential for ensuring the availability of raw materials needed by the food and drink industry. This approach also applies to vertical coherence considering that the CAP has to promote a better functioning of the food supply chain.

-Further develop the market‐orientation of the CAP
The CAP has undergone a few reforms which gradually introduced more market orientation in the agricultural policy. The food and drink industry has always welcomed this trend and continues to do so for the CAP post‐2013 reform. The future common policy must primary be dedicated to promoting a demand‐driven production of raw materials, i.e. farmers must take decisions according to market developments and their subsequent expected returns.
Without losing market orientation, the CAP needs however tools to address extreme price volatility: the CAP should act as a safety net in view of ensuring security of supply by preventing crisis situations and remedying temporary market imbalances.

-Promote a European sustainable agriculture
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 scarce resources (land, water, soil) and contribute to the continuous environmental improvement in food production. For CIAA, research and innovation can contribute to meeting these challenges and the CAP has a role to play in supporting agri‐food R&D.
Finally, the EU agriculture budget must provide the means for this common policy, which should contribute to the sustainable development of European agriculture and provide a stable and attractive business climate.