CEJA has called on the EU institutions to make new budget available to fund the implementation of Article 222, which will enable producer organisations, interbranch organisations and cooperatives to establish voluntary agreements on production. For many farmers today who are dealing with plummeting prices and cash-flow difficulties, continuing or increasing production is the only option which does not require substantial capital investment. Today’s dire market situation will therefore continue to get worse unless appropriate measures such as the voluntary regulation of production are activated, financed and made operational as quickly as possible.
Young farmers and those attempting to enter the sector are being hit disproportionately hard by this crisis as the most vulnerable and exposed actors to price fluctuations and market shocks, therefore putting the future of the EU agricultural sector at risk. With this in mind, both short-term and long-term solutions to the crisis must be identified and successfully implemented at European level. To this end, CEJA has addressed a letter to the Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan, the Chair of COMAGRI Czeslaw Siekierski and acting President of the Agriculture Council Martijn van Dam, calling on the EU institutions to find new funding in order to ensure that the activation of Article 222 is not just an empty gesture but one which can become operational and genuinely alleviate pressure on prices across agricultural sectors. This can only succeed with adequate funding available so as to remunerate farmers who voluntarily reduce their production and therefore income.
This letter was drafted following a meeting of CEJA delegates in Brussels on 19 April to discuss the market crisis and potential measures to address it, including Article 222. Although it is essential that new long-term measures and tools are identified and implemented today in order to prevent such market situations and their consequences recurring in future, European young farmers also recognise that if any action can be taken to help those farmers on the front line of the crisis today, then it must. CEJA therefore believes that Article 222 should be operational as soon as possible and backed by adequate new budgetary funding so that producers are able to voluntarily reduce their production as soon as possible if they so wish. CEJA also calls on the institutions to organise an EU-level conference on the subject in order to bring together all EU stakeholders to discuss the implementation of the measure, among other potential solutions, in a bid to facilitate and speed up the execution of Article 222.
Download the press release here.
Download the CEJA letter to the EU institutions here.