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November 27, 2021

Family farming model discussed at the informal meeting of Ministers of Agriculture

After the meeting held on September 8-10 in Vilnius, Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said that he’s confident an agreement will be reach this month about the still pending CAP reform issues.

“Family farming is a key element of the European agricultural model. Family farms are the vast majority of farms in the EU and cover large part of the European area”, Commissioner Ciolos stated on Tuesday underlying that “the new CAP, as agreed in June, provides practical answers to challenges to the sustainability of family farms models in Europe”. “It is now the responsibility of each Member state to make the right choice to realize the full potential of European agriculture, including family farms”, he said. Ciolos talked about different legal framework, taxation regimes and social protection systems that have a direct impact on the viability of family farms. “I sincerely hope that this wish to preserve and develop these farms will also result in the establishment of an institutional framework at national and regional level which is coherent and conducive to the long term sustainability of these operations level”, he added.  Ciolos reminded that 2014 will be the International Year of Family Farming and the Commission is organizing a conference on this subject in November, in Bruxelles which will also serve to prepare the European contribution to the regional United conference to be held in Bucharest in 2014.
“Our aim is to have a modern, competitive and environmentally friendly family farm, to attract the young people to farming, to make the rural communities prosperous,“ the Lithuanian Minister of Agriculture prof. Vigilijus Jukna pointed out.
Most of the ministers agreed that family farming is one of the most important farming models with a significant input in achieving food security, delivering public goods, maintaining the viability of rural areas, ensuring high-quality production supply. The ministers noted the importance of the short food supply chains and local food systems since the focus in these chains is on the high-quality of production, its freshness, flavor, safety.  Majority of the ministers noted that the number of farms has been declining over the last decades in most EU countries – in a highly competitive and global business environment family farms often encounter market difficulties, such as limited access to market, decreasing farmers’ share of value added in the food chain, limited bargaining power, etc.
“As it has been pointed out during the discussion, in achieving the efficiency of family farming it is vital to maintain and enhance the position of the farms in the food supply chain, to promote cooperation and to strengthen farmers’ bargaining power, possibly at shortening the supply chain and focusing on direct sales. It is very important that researchers, farmers, advisors and other players of the sector should cooperate more actively to accelerate the speed of technological transfer from science to farming practice and the farmers themselves constantly would be trained and advised,“ after the discussion of ministers noted prof. V. Jukna.
“No one is looking to re-open the June CAP reform deal, but we need to finalise issues linked to MFF, not finished in June trilogue”,”Commissioner Ciolos  also said after the Informal Farm Council in Vilnius. He underlined that an accord is necessary on these issues by the end of September in order to make possible the first payments in 2014.
On June 26, the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament have reached a political agreement on the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy.

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