In view of the Agriculture Council meeting of 27-28 June 2016 and the ongoing EU agricultural market crisis, CEJA has published a statement requesting immediate action to be taken by decision-makers in terms of funding the implementation of Article 222 as well as more medium to long-term measures to ensure crises of such scale are avoided at all costs in future. Young farmers – and therefore the future of EU food production – are being hit the hardest by this crisis due to recent investments, a lack of financial backing and cash flow difficulties, all of which adds to their vulnerability when it comes to such substantial price drops.
CEJA continues to call for the immediate activation of Article 222 (which would enable producer organisations to establish voluntary agreements on their production) including additional new budget for its implementation as well as an EU-level conference to bring together all EU stakeholders and actors in order to discuss modalities of implementation. Action needs to be taken on this immediately in order to try to stop price drops even further and to attempt to bring about an improvement in them. If action on this is not taken immediately, it will be too late for many young farmers who are at the end of their tether in terms of repaying debts and keeping their heads above water. The nature of farming pertains to high investments with low and slow returns; this cannot be ignored by those devising policies to address this situation while prices continue to fall.
CEJA also calls on all EU institutions and Member States to improve cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) in order to foster the creation of financial instruments aimed at alleviating cash flow difficulties for young farmers and the improvement of existing specific risk management tools, including insurance tools and income stabilisation tools, as well as measures pertaining to transparency and trade. Speaking on the subject, CEJA President Alan Jagoe said: “We are running out of time. We already know how difficult it is for young people to enter the EU farming sector at the best of times, and now we are putting those already-established young farmers at serious risk if we do not act on this immediately and in future. This is a make or break situation which demands a coherent and effective European response.”
You can read the CEJA position statement on the market crisis in full here.