Open letter to the Institutions: Europe needs more farmers

Today, in a letter to the European Commission and CAP legislators, signed by farmers’ organisations, environmental organisations, NGOs, unions, and researchers, European Coordination Via Campesina underlines the key role of small and medium-sized farmers in the resolution of current social, environmental, and food-related crises. It demands that EU policy in this pivotal moment must support and increase the number of small-scale farmers.

 

We are at a crossroads and CAP reform trialogue negotiations, national strategic plans, the Climate Law proposal, and the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies must include concrete measures to turn objectives into coherent actions, with a focus on the following areas:

 

  • Rebuild resilience and to move towards food sovereignty through regulating agricultural and food markets.
  • Make the post-2020 CAP reform coherent, by guaranteeing fairer, dignified livings for more farmers and farm workers and enhancing rules and standards for agri-environmental conditions.
  • Tackle climate change through supporting peasant agroecological farming and having more farmers on the land.
  • Give precedence to farmer-led innovation above expensive, burdensome and privately owned digital technologies.
  • Firmly maintain current legislation on Genetically Modified Organisms and recognise farmers’ right to seeds be in the future reform of the law on seed marketing.
  • Initiate an overhaul of the rules of international agricultural trade in a fairer and more solidarity-based way, including by stopping the negotiation of additional free trade agreements.
  • Stop treating land a commodity, instead promoting access to land for youth, new entrants, and for peasant agroecological farming.
  • Fulfil the promise to “leave no one behind” in the implementation of the European Green Deal and respect, protect and fulfil the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, by consistently implementing the UNDROP.

 

This letter marks the week of 17 April, International Day of Peasant Struggles. On this day, we commemorate the massacre of 21 landless peasants in 1996 in Eldorado dos Carajás, Brazil, while demonstrating in support of comprehensive agrarian reform.

To see the full letter and list of signatories, you can visit our website.

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