Joint letter to Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI)

 

Dear AGRI Committee Members and Substitutes,

Cc: ENVI, CONT, REGI, DEVE, FEMM, and BUDG Committees,

We are writing to you as a coalition of economic and non-economic interests, representing producers, farmers, environmental protection, animal welfare, international development, food and health organisations, and consumer co-operatives, to call on you to work towards a fundamental green and fair reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in this new Parliament.

Science tells us that we must act urgently and decisively to prevent catastrophic climate change, the collapse of biodiversity, and thereby safeguard our future ability to produce food. The European elections demonstrated that European citizens expect such action from this Parliament.

Agriculture is at the heart of the debate, both as a contributor to environmental degradation and as a sector on the frontline of its effects. While farmers cannot solve these crises alone, these issues can also not be solved without them, and without a large-scale shift to ecological farming practices, supported by the CAP. This will benefit the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, the landscapes and the biodiversity of our countryside, the welfare of farm animals, our climate, and the lives and well-being of people both in Europe and in third countries.

In this light, the proposed changes to the CAP, as voted by the previous Agriculture Committee, are woefully inadequate to meet the magnitude of the environmental and social challenges facing Europe’s farming sector. CAP spending needs to be urgently redirected towards promoting nature and animal welfare friendly farming, and away from environmentally damaging farming practices.

We urge you to use your Parliamentary mandate to work towards a new CAP that will tackle the climate crisis, reverse the rapid loss of biodiversity, ensure healthy and sustainable consumption and production, and deliver quality rural employment and decent livelihoods for our farmers. Several amendments to this end have already been voted through in opinion-giving Committees [1].

Such an undertaking requires close collaboration between relevant Committees of the European Parliament. Agriculture does not exist in isolation, therefore a joined-up, inclusive and coherent approach to agricultural policy is urgently needed. Moreover, over the next five years, inter-committee collaboration will be needed to pursue closer alignment and coherence between the CAP and other policies that shape food and agriculture, to enable a genuine transition towards sustainable food systems.

We look forward to working with you towards the objectives outlined above, and remain at your disposal for further information.

Yours sincerely,

ACT Alliance EU – Karin Ulmer, Senior Policy Officer
Arche Noah – Seed Savers Association in Central Europe – Gonçalo Macedo, Agriculture Policy Coordinator
BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination – Noa Simon Delso , Project Manager
Birdlife Europe – Harriet Bradley, EU Agriculture Policy Officer
Compassion in World Farming – Olga Kikou, Head of EU Office
Corporate Europe Observatory – Nina Holland, Researcher and campaigner
Eurogroup for Animals – Reineke Hameleers, Director
European Community of Consumer Co-operatives – Todor Ivanov, Secretary-General
European Environmental Bureau (EEB) – Celia Nyssens, Policy Officer for Agriculture
European Plant-based Foods Association (ENSA) – Vinciane Patelou, Director
European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) – Nikolai Pushkarev, Policy Coordinator
European Vegetable Protein Association (EUVEPRO) – Nuria Moreno, Secretary-General
European Vegetarian Union (EVU) – Ronja Berthold, Public Affairs Officer
FERN – Nicole Polsterer, Sustainable Consumption and Production Campaigner
Four Paws – Andreas Manz , EU Farm Animal Policy Coordinator
Friends of the Earth Europe – Stanka Becheva, Food & Agriculture Campaigner
Greenpeace European Unit – Magda Stoczkiewicz, Deputy Director
Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) – Génon K. Jensen, Executive Director
Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe – Paola Hernández Olivan, Food Project and Policy Officer
Humane Society International/Europe – Alexandra Clark, Campaign Manager
IFOAM EU – Eric Gall, Deputy Director & Policy Manager
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) – Shefali Sharma, Europe Director
Pesticides Action Network (PAN) Europe – Henriette Christensen, Senior Policy Advisor
ProVeg International – Ronja Berthold, Public Affairs Officer
Safe Food Advocacy Europe – Bruno Menne, Policy Officer and Project Coordinator
Slow Food Europe – Yael Pantzer, Policy Officer
The Greenbaum Foundation – Jim Greenbaum, Founder & Managing Director
The Pollination Project – Ariel Nessel, Director