Towards a healthy, sustainable, fair and mutually supportive
Common Agriculture and Food policy
We, the undersigned, believe that the European Union needs to meet the urgent challenges Europe is facing regarding food and agriculture.
After more than a half-century of industrialisation of agriculture and food production, sustainable family farming and local food cultures have been substantially reduced in Europe. Today, our food system is dependent on under-priced fossil fuels, does not recognize the limitations of water and land resources, and supports unhealthy diets high in calories fat and salt, and low in fruit, vegetables and grains. Looking ahead, rising energy costs, drastic losses in biodiversity, climate change and declining water and land resources threatenthe future of food production. At the same time, a growing world population faces the potential dual burden of widespread hunger and chronic diseases due to overconsumption.
We will only be able to address these challenges successfully with a completely different approach to food and agriculture policies and practices. The European Union must recognize and support the crucial role of sustainable family farming in the food supply of the population. All people should have access to healthy, safe, and nutritious food. The ways in which we grow, distribute, prepare and eat food should celebrate Europe’s cultural diversity, providing sustenance equitably and sustainably.
The present Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) is currently being debated and is due for change in 2013. After decades of the domination by transnational corporations and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in determining food and agriculture policy, it is time for people in Europe to re-appropriate agriculture and food policy: it is time for food sovereignty. We believe a new Common Food and Agriculture Policy should guarantee and protect citizens’ space in the EU and candidate countries and their ability and right to define their own models of production, distribution and consumption following the principles outlined below.
The new Common Food and Agriculture Policy:
considers food as a universal human right, not merely a commodity.
gives priority to growing food and feed for Europe and changes international trade in agricultural products according to principles of equity, social justice and ecological sustainability. The CAP should not harm other countries’ food and agriculture systems.
promotes healthy eating patterns, moving towards plant-based diets and towards a reduced consumption of meat, energy-dense and highly processed foods, and saturated fats, while respecting the regional cultural dietary habits and traditions
gives priority to maintaining an agriculture all over Europe that involves numerous farmers producing food and caring for the countryside. That is not achievable without fair and secure farm prices, which should allow a fair income for farmers and agricultural workers, and fair prices for consumers
ensures fair, non-discriminatory conditions for farmers and agricultural workers in Central and Eastern Europe, and promotes a fair and equitable access to land.
respects the local and global environment, protects the finite resources of soil and water, increases biodiversity and respects animal welfare.
guarantees that agriculture and food production remain free from GMOs and fosters farmers’ seeds and the diversity of domestic livestock species, building on local knowledge.
stops promoting the use and the production of industrial agrofuels and gives priority to the reduction of transport in general.
ensures transparency along the food chain so that citizens know how their food is produced, where it comes from, what it contains and what is included in the price paid by consumers.
reduces the concentration of power in the agricultural, food processing and retail sectors and their influence on what is produced and consumed, and promotes food systems that shorten the distance between farmers and consumers.
encourages the production and consumption of local, seasonal, high quality products reconnecting citizens with their food and food producers.
devotes resources to teaching children the skills and knowledge required to produce, prepare, and enjoy healthy, nutritious food.
You can sign up by visiting the following web site: http://www.europeanfooddeclaration.org/. You will find the declaration in many languages and a list of the 1st groups to sign-up.
A SEED Europe
European Coordination Via Campesina
L’autres Syndicat (CH)
Plateforme pour une agriculture socialement durable (CH)
Farmer Unions Confederation (Ciftci-sen), Turkey
Movement d’Action Paysanne (MAP) ,Belgique
Confederation Paysanne, France
Sindicato de obreros del campo (Andalucia)
Associazione Rurale Italiana (I)
Frie Boender (DK)
Italian Committee for Food Sovereignty
Action on behalf of justice is a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the gospel.
Justice in the World – 1971 Synod of Bishops