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

The lack of European stocks is blocking European food aid to the poor

18 July 2011

Last 14th April, the European Commission was forced to block 80% of its food aid for the poor following a court decision that said aid supply could only come from European surplus and stocks and not from buying on the markets using subsidies from the EU.

The meeting of agricultural ministers on 28th June has not only failed to break the deadlock but it was hinted that “negotiations could be long” as noted by the Hungarian presidency of the EU. In doing so, the amount of food aid for 2012 is currently divided by four compared to previous budgets, from 500 to 113 million Euros.

How did we get to a situation that puts 18 million people who benefit from European food aid each year into an even more precarious situation?

The principle of “sourcing” food aid from the production of the European Union’s member states is quite legitimate. The problem is that Europe lacked the wisdom to build food security stocks.

This failure points to the irrelevance of the European strategy on current and past reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, both in terms of managing price volatility and combating food insecurity. Since the mid-1990s, successive reforms of the CAP were intended to apply certain income from the industrial sector to agriculture including the “zero-stock” so dear to the automobile. The consequences have been up to the expectations of the promoters of these policies: stocks have melted like snow in the sun or are sometimes inexistent, as demonstrated by the current situation.

Food insecurity has returned to Europe and more so that the economic context, characterized by agricultural prices that are more volatile than previously, making it more difficult to access basic foodstuffs as prices rise to excess, accelerated by speculation.

Also, by reinforcing the principle of allocating food aid to the poorest using intra-European stocks, the Union’s jurisdiction places the Commission before its responsibilities, because the Commission itself encouraged their removal. This decision reveals the paradox surrounding the ongoing reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Let’s hope it will raise enduring awareness in Europe of the strategic nature of always having sufficient agricultural and food stocks, and in this aim, to adopt a common agricultural policy with ad hoc mechanisms, with budget and intervention methods that match the objectives.

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Paris, 24 April 2019