European Coordination Via Campesina

Marek Poznanski, 19 June 2008

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

The European Coordination Via Campesina regroups the organisations formerly gathered in the European Farmers Coordination (CPE 1986-2008) and other farmers’ and agricultural workers’ organisations of Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, and Turkey.
Their principal objective is the struggle for other food and agricultural policies based on more legitimacy, fairness, solidarity and sustainability, wich are necessary in Europe to ensure food security, food safety, public health, employment in rural areas and to tackle the issues of the global food crisis and climate change.
In Europe, each day, over thousand farms disappear because of a lack of real political will to keep sustainable family farming . We ask for the development of diverse and sustainable family farming linked, and the application of food sovereignty as framework of a new Common Agriculture and Food Policy.
Following Via Campesina:
- Europe needs a public policy, an European agriculture policy defined by the Europeans, not by the WTO.
- Yes to a change of CAP, no to its removal.
- Priority should be given to agricultural and rural employment. We say no to farmer’s disappearance.
- The rights of women farmers should be recognised.
- Access to land, water, seeds, and credit should become a right: That includes the farmer’s rights to save their seeds and to improve plant varieties.
- The setting up of young farmers has to be promoted.
- Farmers’ income should come first from selling their products. For farm prices reflecting the real value of the products, the two following conditions are necessary:

  • Supply management instruments should be implemented, to avoid surpluses or shortages.
  • Any dumping at export (at prices below the production costs) must be forbidden, and in exchange for this duty, the EU and the other countries have the right to protect themselves from imports at too low prices.
    - To maintain a countryside alive in all regions,
  • Sustainable family farming should be maintained and developed: European funds are necessary, especially for small farms and less favoured areas.
  • The process of concentration of the agricultural production has to be stopped and the production better distributed between the regions and between the farms.
  • Public services should be maintained and improved in all regions
    - The modes of production which harm the environment, use too much energy, damage the quality and the safety of the products, have to be re-orientated.
    - Agricultural land should be used first for food production.
    - Biodiversity should be safeguarded: GMOs and patents of life must be banned.
    - Rural development policy does not have to replace the CAP, does not have to correct the failures of the CAP, but has to complete the CAP, by developing employment first.
    - Short food miles should have priority compared to long transport and to international markets.
    - Immigrant agricultural workers have to be treated without discrimination, with the same rights as the Europeans.
    - We need international trade rules without dumping, based on food sovereignty, human rights, and international labour rights.

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