CEJA President Mr Jannes Maes delivered a speech today at the informal meeting of EU ministers for agriculture and fisheries in Tallinn, Estonia.
“Young Farmers already established in business and new entrants to the sector are exposed not only to local risks inherently associated with agriculture as a profession, but also global risks that are wide-reaching and linked to supply and demand in fast-changing global markets,” Mr Maes said.
He added that managing risks required innovative solutions. Access to reliable, high-quality information on market situations and tools that allow Young Farmers to manage their own risks is essential to the future of farming.
The implementation of tools to anticipate crisis and prevent risk through the Common Market Organisation was laid out in “Young Farmers are key in the future CAP”, a document adopted by CEJA members earlier this year.
Mr Maes listed the measures CEJA believed should be implemented at EU level in order to ensure better risk management in farming:
– The need for an EU safety net to cover climatic, sanitary and economic risks.
– An improvement of the legislation on covering insurances.
– The ambitious use of existing and new measures that provide loans and bank guaranties to young farmers.
– An amelioration of the framework for futures and future markets in order to shift risks away from farmers.
He emphasised that Young Farmers recognised their responsibility in managing risks, but that current measures were not sufficient to create enough stability for them.
According to Mr Maes, the establishment of a crisis reserve in order to provide a decent safety net for farmers and food production is of the utmost importance and should be funded as much as possible through EU-budget surpluses rather than through direct payments.
Direct payments could be considered a risk management tool and are a means of moving towards policy objectives, creating further sustainability on an environmental, social and economic level.
All measures must be taken “only to support active, professional farmers,” added Mr Maes.
He concluded by stating that the future of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) must ensure the viability of family farms throughout the EU.
CEJA represents the political interests of around two million young farmers from across Europe. Its main objectives are to facilitate the installation of young farmers, to inform and to train them as well as act as a forum for communication and dialogue between them.