agriculture, a future which concerns all of us

agriculture, a future which concerns all of us

On 29 October 2013, the President of the European Council of Young Farmers, Matteo Bartolini, addressed a high-level conference organised by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), at the Residence Palace in Brussels. The conference, entitled “From a grey deal to a green implementation of the future CAP?” focused on the rolling out of the greening measures and recommendations for biodiversity-friendly Rural Development policy post 2013. The CEJA President spoke on the panel focusing on the final Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) deal, and underlined the importance of young farmers in the environmental sustainability debate in agriculture.

Mr Bartolini’s intervention followed that of EEB’s senior policy officer Faustine Defossez and DG AGRI’s Pierre Bascou, and outlined the importance of young farmers in securing a more sustainable future for European agriculture. Considering that young farmers are better-educated, more technologically-aware and more innovative than their older peers, there is a clear need to invest in young farmers and encourage generational renewal in the sector in order to achieve a more environmentally-conscious one.

The CEJA President advocated the importance of support for young farmers in the environmental context, stating that: “We need sustainability across the European agricultural sector. Not just an environmentally and economically sustainable sector, but also a demographically sustainable one which can provide us with an agricultural model which can increasingly deliver safe, high quality food.” Mr Bartolini ended his speech by welcoming the final agreement on CAP reform and looking towards the future, including the greening measures, saying: “The income support which will be provided to farmers in this new CAP, targeting environment, innovation, research and development will ensure a more balanced agricultural policy among Member States in future.”

The interventions were followed by a lively debate with the moderator, Alan Matthews from Trinity College and the audience concerning the implementation of the CAP’s greening measures, particularly in terms of the ‘equivalence’ concept.

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