ICMSA on ‘rediscovery’ of Food Security Dimension of CAP

The President of ICMSA, Denis Drennan, has said that the elevation of Food Security in the EU’s Strategic Agenda 2029 is potentially very significant and signals a commitment to dealing with ‘here and now’ threats and challenges over what Mr Drennan said were the more abstract and long-term challenges contained in the previous EU Green Deal plan.

Mr Drennan said that while the thrust of any plan need not be a binary ‘either/or’ and while farmers absolutely accepted the need to move forward on lowering emissions and mitigating climate change, that could not be the sole focus of a farm and food policy and the Green Deal’s concentration on just those climate aspects had brought the farm sector right across Member States to the verge of ruin and widespread resentment.

Mr Drennan said that ensuring that we had food in the first place is at least as important as ensuring that the food was produced in the most sustainable fashion.

“This is the point that the Green Deal just never seemed to understand: producing enough food securely for the population of the EU – and producing that from within our own resources – is at least as important as ensuring that it’s produced in a climate-efficient manner. This Strategic Agenda that will run up to 2029 understands that reality and starts from that point. That is welcome and hopefully represents a move towards reality over aspiration”, said Mr Drennan.

The ICMSA President said that the announcement needs to be followed with a willingness of Member States and the Commission to look again at the CAP Budget which, according to Mr Drennan, had been ‘salami-sliced’ to the point of uselessness and must be reorientated to deliver policies that supported farm families rather than undermining them.

“We hope that this welcome re-focus, this rediscovery of the original motive and function of CAP, will be followed on by a meaningful increase in the CAP Budget that will deliver a policy that will make a real difference to farmers”.