Coldiretti Calabria pressing on the CAP: clear answers, certain times and simplification are needed


By John

In view of the presentation by the European Commission of the new legislative proposal to simplify some rules of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Coldiretti is pressing. The document will then be examined at the EU leaders' summit on 21 and 22 March. The European Commission – claims the agricultural organization – must give clear answers to our requests within certain timeframes. The issues that emerged during the thirty-eight meetings with farmers held throughout the regional territory in which Coldiretti Calabria met thousands of members are these: simplification and reduction of bureaucratic burdens for agricultural businesses, suspension of obligations on environmental cross-compliance, revision of the rules on state aid to allow a moratorium on company debts, introduction of the principle of reciprocity in trade, up to commitments on unfair practices, the increase in resources for food security and on the Ukraine dossier, where the cost of enlargement cannot be paid by European farmers”. Companies can no longer tolerate bureaucratic impositions, follies and phenomena that put their income at risk – he reiterates – and to avoid this we must put an end to the increase in obligations, obligations and costs linked to the application of environmental conditionality. Rules that are too stringent and often disconnected from reality have made their application in the countryside virtually impossible, already affected by the constant increase in production costs and a corresponding drop in agricultural prices.

Coldiretti therefore asks to eliminate from this year any sanctions imposed on farmers and to proceed with the definitive cancellation of the obligation to keep 4% of uncultivated land, as the simple exemption is not sufficient.

And in Europe, respect for the principle of reciprocity must also apply – insists Coldiretti – with a clear stop to the entry of products from outside the EU borders that do not respect our own production standards and respect for the rules on workers' rights. The latest European madness is the industrial emissions directive with which the EU has missed yet another opportunity to reverse course, abandoning a green extremism that risks closing thousands of farms. In fact, the unnecessary tightening of the criteria for obtaining environmental impact authorization for medium and small sized pig and poultry farms has been confirmed. The pig farms involved in Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) production are penalized and in Calabria – recalls Coldiretti – we have four PDOs that will be subject to the new charges, putting a key sector of the agri-food economy of our region at risk.