CEJA President Matteo Bartolini has called on EU Ministers to improve access to credit for young farmers by establishing a European Guarantee Fund at the European Investment Bank (EIB), available to any young farmer in the EU if they fulfil certain criteria, particularly the presentation of an appropriate business plan. This would provide young farmers with the security they need in order to obtain loans from their respective national banks, potentially with lower interest rates.
Addressing all 28 EU Ministers for agriculture at the Informal Council Meeting in Milan taking place under the Italian Presidency on 30 September 2014, the President of CEJA underlined that the new CAP measures set to bring innovation to the sector and increase generational renewal within the European farming population can only succeed if the issue of access to credit, one of the biggest stumbling blocks young people face when attempting to establish or takeover farms, is out of their way.
Speaking of the proposal, Mr Bartolini stated: “We do not want to change or replace existing national tools, but we do want to ensure that every young farmer in Europe has the same opportunities to get a loan, despite the Member State that they farm in or the financial background they come from. A bank guarantee at EU level can go a lot further – at limited costs – than any national policy could alone. Young farmers will be the ones to innovative and revitalise the European agricultural sector as well as increase productivity and ensure food security and this measure is vital in order for them to succeed.”
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Jessica Fitch, Communications Officer, Tel: +32 (0)2 230 4210