A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

La position de Merkel sur la politique agricole

Alan Matthews, CAP REFORM, 4 Juillet 2017

10 juillet 2017

A l’heure où les positions commencent à se faire connaitre sur la PAC post 2020, Alan Matthews, économiste publiant régulièrement sur le blog CAP Reform, nous livre la vision agricole de Mme Merkel à partir d’une traduction du programme agricole de la CDU-CSU pour les élections allemandes de septembre prochain

Si le parti chrétien démocrate se positionne comme le « parti de l’agriculture et de la forêt », les sujets sociétaux, et en particulier le bien-être animal, sont très présents dans ce programme, qui va à l’essentiel. Sur le plan des structures agricoles, l’orientation est plus bavaroise que brandebourgeoise : l’agriculture doit être familiale avec une propriété privée de la terre dans les mains des agriculteurs.

La crise agricole qui sévit aussi en Allemagne appelle également la CDU-CSU à des prix équitables pour les producteurs et à la responsabilité des transformateurs et des distributeurs. Sur la PAC, l’après 2020 est évoqué sous l’angle du maintien des aides directes et de la structure à deux piliers. On note d’ailleurs une position très claire sur la gestion des crises qui doit relever du niveau communautaire. Le programme ne fait pas mention d’outils privés de gestion des risques. Une plus grande flexibilité de la fiscalité pour permettre aux agriculteurs d’épargner les bonnes années est en revanche préconisée.

Face au spectre d’une poursuite de la renationalisation de la PAC, à nouveau évoqué par les propositions de co-financement du premier pilier avancées par Bruxelles dernièrement
2, il est rassurant de ne rien voir de la sorte dans le programme de Mme Merkel et de son parti ; au contraire, pour eux, « La Politique Agricole Commune de l’UE est d’une très grande priorité ».

La rédaction de Momagri

Given the pivotal importance of Germany in shaping the future CAP, it is worth paying attention to what the CDU/CSU coalition have to say about agriculture in its just announced programme for government for the German elections in September. Not least because opinion polls currently suggest that Merkel will succeed in her bid for re-election. Among other issues, there are commitments to maintain direct payments after 2020 (though no commitment to seek any particular size of the CAP budget), to maintain the two-pillar structure of the CAP, to improve the crisis instruments at the disposal of the Commission and a preference to compensate for biodiversity loss arising from agricultural production through financial compensation rather than land set-aside (though how this might work in practice is not spelled out). Below is my rough translation of the agricultural section of the CDU/CSU programme for government.

Agriculture has a future

Agriculture, forestry and the food industry in Germany contribute greatly to economic activity, but also to the quality of life, culture and landscape management. These sectors provide valuable and modern jobs, training and apprenticeships particularly in rural areas.

CDU and CSU have always been the party of agriculture and forestry. We value In particular the modern family-oriented agriculture and the diversity of family businesses. We want to promote and preserve them. Agriculture must have a future in Germany. Our mission statement is a diverse, sustainable, competitive, land-based and land-covering agriculture in the hands of family farms.

We stand for the preservation of creation. Therefore, we reject cloning from animals. We want a partnership between agriculture and society and therefore promote this dialogue. CDU and CSU stand for the protection of property. A widely dispersed property is the foundation of agricultural and forestry production in farmers’ hands. We stand for maintaining a separate ministry for agriculture and the food industry.

• The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a very high priority for us. We stand for continuity in the Common Agricultural Policy and for maintaining the 2-pillar model. We also stand for the continuation of direct payments after 2020. CDU and CSU are the reliable partner for farmers. We will pay attention to agricultural structure objectives and support particularly active farmers, young farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises.

• We want farms to have more time for their crop and livestock operations. That’s why we will reduce the bureaucratic burden for administration and operations. We need more exemptions for small businesses and must prevent multiple checks.

• We will launch an innovation fund for farmers. We want to accelerate technical, biological and digital progress such as precision agriculture through agricultural research and innovation. This will help us to make a further contribution to resource and climate protection. For this reason, an equal expansion of the digital infrastructure in the rural space is important.

• Conventional and organic farming for us are not in opposition and both will be encouraged.

• Through a livestock management strategy, which takes greater account of animal welfare, we want to create a greater social acceptance and to promote investment and planning security for enterprises. Agriculture and animal welfare are not opposites, but condition each other. Further improvements in animal protection we see as a cross – border challenge and we will strive for uniform standards in the EU. For CDU and CSU animal protection is an important concern, because animals are our fellow creatures.

• The introduction of a new official animal welfare label can help to increase animal welfare and to improve the market opportunities of the holdings concerned. Further development in animal protection must be practicable.

• Species protection is important and indispensable. To prevent misguided policies the protection status of animals and plants should be regularly reviewed in the light of their population development and, if necessary, adapted.

• Land is the basis of production for our farmers. We want to curb the consumption of land and will therefore reform and simplify the compensatory area system. We want that interventions in nature, wherever appropriate, should be compensated not by additional land set-aside but by financial compensation. The resulting revenue should then be used to achieve ecological concerns in other ways.

• The primary task of agriculture is food supply. We want to promote the appreciation of these high-quality domestic products through consumer education from childhood on. Therein lies a great potential to use food properly and to reduce waste.

• Market prices must be fair and producers should be enabled to have a decent income. We require a permanent risk equalization reserve so that farms can set aside an amount tax free in good years to draw down in years with lower income. Market and production risks should not be borne by the producer alone. We want a fair supply chain with market responsibility of both processors and the retail trade. At EU level, we are committed to an improvement of the crisis instruments.

• Particularly in relation to the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU we will take the concerns of the deep sea fishing industry especially into account.

• In the interests of sustainable wood and raw material management, we will strengthen and use the future potential of the forestry industry, while taking account of environmental and landscape protection concerns.”

1 http://capreform.eu/merkels-stance-on-agricultural-policy/
2 http://www.euractiv.fr/(...)/le-co-financement-de-la-pac-propose-par-bruxelles-suscite-lire-francaise/

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Paris, 18 August 2017