After my post yesterday on climate change and water vapour I was interested to read the Euractiv.com article about farm policy reform. The discussions are currently taking place to determine EU farm policy after 2013. The article states that: "Members of the European Parliamen's agriculture committee agreed on the 27th January that EU farm policy can help slow climate change, and that the post-2013 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should be used to make the transition to sustainable farming by creating more synergy between EU agriculture and environmental policies."
What does this statement mean in the context of climate change, food security, food production?
Stéphane Le Foll the French draftsman of the Parliament's own initiative report on EU agriculture and climate change said "I propose that we use EU agriculture to reduce fossil energy use, emit less and capture more CO2, and for sustainable management of natural resources ..... The future CAP should be used "to ensure a transition towards sustainable agriculture that is economically viable".
The article continues that the "draft report, to be adopted later this spring, currently states that "the CAP must be turned into an agricultural, food and environmental policy" and that climate change, water management, renewable energies and biodiversity "must be addressed through all the CAP instruments, not just the second pillar subsidies".
I am an advocate of farming in a way that minimises the impact on the local and widespread environment, whilst producting nutritious, wholesome and safe food but this needs to be set in the context of a food policy within the EU that currently drives food being at most about 10% of weekly family expenditure rather than historically and in many other regions of the world 40% or higher. It will be a major juggling act to form a definitive policy that meets the needs of all stakeholders and manages food prices so that people have the money to send on the consumer items that currently drive the economy, managing agricultural practices and environmental impact.