While the FAO world conference on food security is meeting between June 3 and 5 in Rome, the organizations representing European farmers (COPA) and their cooperatives (COGECA) urge world leaders to ensure all nations’ food security “through market stabilization and agricultural prices that allow farmers to earn a living.”
For Pekka Pesonen, COPA-COGECA Secretary General, the best way to reduce food shortage throughout the world is to give farmers incentives for agricultural production and investment, since “over half of the 860 million of the world’s hungry people are farmers.”
COPA and COGECA also add that recent surges in commodity prices are destabilizing and illustrate the extreme agricultural price volatility that confronts farmers. It is therefore necessary to maintain regulatory measures that can lessen the consequences of agricultural prices natural volatility. But by dismantling these measures in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), European Union leaders have jeopardized European food security, especially at a time of highly volatile agricultural prices and increased risks of food shortage. Consequently, Pekka Pesonen urges European policy makers to “make food security and stability their key objective.”
Lastly, representatives of European agricultural organizations stress the need for farmers to benefit from “fairer prices”, i.e. prices that allow them to make a living. This need is all the more urgent when we consider that “for years, farmers had to face declining prices for their production while energy, fertilizers and plant protection costs steadily rose.”
Since its creation, momagri has shared this position by demonstrating the virtual character of world prices and he need to think “margins” rather than price levels, since price volatility is misleading. Indeed, if lower prices can impact farming revenue and lead to significant expenditures to the community (abandon of agricultural activities, rise in unemployment, rural exodus, increased shortages and starvation…), high prices do not guarantee a decent income to farmers whose production costs are constantly rising.