The two associations’ presidents, Peter Kendall and Sergio Marini, met in Rome last week to discuss the future of the CAP, and pointed to specific areas for improvement, including greening measures that do not affect production and a certain flexibility between member states.
Kendall said: “Coldiretti is very much with us in arguing for a policy geared to the primary role of farmers as competitive food producers. Coldiretti also attaches the same priority as we do to increased production and greater food security, and fails to understand how this can be achieved by taking millions of hectares of land out of production.
“We are both concerned that the EU Commission’s current proposals for greening the CAP would undermine competitiveness and could damage production. We agreed that the current proposals must be improved, in the context of a framework that provides fairness between member states and is affordable to farmers.”
In a joint statement, the NFU and Coldiretti also asked for a European supply chain policy that protects farmers. “Parallel to the reform of the CAP, the EU should make genuine progress towards a supply chain that operates more fairly for the producer and prevents abuses of power,” the unions said.
In October 2011, EU agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos sparked controversy with the introduction of a reform of the CAP towards a more sustainable and competitive European farming sector. The proposed changes in subsidy payments and environmentally-friendly measures, including a 7% reduction in cropland to preserve ecological landscapes, were accused of hampering an already struggling industry.
The NFU and Coldiretti will now be lobbying the European Parliament together to influence the reform, which will be implemented in 2014.