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

Living (and surviving) in a volatile world: What implications for British agriculture?

March 9, 2015

“Supporting British agriculture in a volatile world” was the title of the annual meeting of the key British union, the National Farmers Union (NFU), that was held on February 24 and 25. The gathering offered another opportunity to confirm that the instability and uncertainty marking European agriculture in the 21st century have indeed become key issues.

While British people are known to be quite skeptical about the CAP––an ultra-liberal position handed down from the Thatcher era––the lines are starting to shift. What was taken for granted––especially a trust on the absolute effectiveness of markets and their ability to self-regulate––is a lot less prevalent today in the name of preserving British agriculture.

The issue of food self-sufficiency was addressed during the meeting, at a time when the figures concerning British agriculture are raising some concerns. Just as it is the case for European agriculture, which imports the equivalent of a third of its farmland, the United Kingdom might only cover less than half of its population’s food needs by 2025, if nothing is done until then. British food self-sufficiency fell to 60 percent this year from 74 percent in 19911. What is at issue? NFU President Meurig Raymond mentioned the farmers’ increased exposure to global market instability generated by international, European and national debatable choices, in particular the dismantling of revenue stabilizing mechanisms.

President Meurig Raymond’s conclusion: It is now urgent to find more effective tools to fight such volatility.

Unfortunately, the European Commission does not seem to be considering long-term solutions. The address by Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan during the meeting once again conflicted with farmers’ concerns. The Commissioner spoke on the significance of the CAP and its founding mission. Yet, Hogan’s policy, which he sees as a guarantee of farmers’ independence and freedom, must be directed toward market forces and be based on non-intervention, except that by farmers. In other words, he again advocates an economic approach that under-estimates the market risks impacting agriculture, and that denies the effectiveness of stabilizing mechanisms.

The new CAP comes into force this year. The issue of direct payments, rural development and market measures will be taken up at the EU-28 Agriculture Ministers Meetings on March 16 and April 20. The debates will be heated, since beyond the simplification promises, redesigning the system on which the First Pillar is based is the issue at stake.

In this environment, momagri advocates another CAP that still based on two pillars but with a significant share of the budget currently allocated to BPSs and green payments to be redirected to tools to manage agricultural markets according to a counter-cyclical rationale.

1 Latest NFU report.

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Paris, 17 June 2019