Support Young Farmers to Secure our Future

EU - We must secure our future, our food and our farmers. The European Council for Young Farmers (CEJA)) has launched a new campaign which calls for generational renewal in the farming sector to be a priority of the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), reports Charlotte Johnston, TheCattleSite editor.
calendar icon 18 October 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

As CAP negotiations are heating up alongside escalating budget concerns, CEJA believes it is essential that the issue of the age crisis in farming is addressed by decision-makers in this reform.

Alarmingly, only six per cent of European farmers are under the age of 35, with 50 per cent being over 55 year of age.

The EU is endowed with young, innovative, agricultural entrepreneurs who are looking forward to addressing the challenges the industry faces. They are eager to implement changes and invest in Europe's future. But they need support.

President of CEJA, Joris Baecke explains that the problem is not a lack of young people interested in farming, but barriers that stand in their way. These barriers include access to land, access to credit and low return on investments during the first years after installation.

Today, Member States can provide installation aid to young farmers in the current CAP but as this is a voluntary measure, some Member States use it and some do not, leading to a lack of cohesion in its implementation across Europe.

The campaign was launched yesterday (16 October), on World Food Day.

Commenting on the campaign, Mr Baecke states: “It is crucial that we get the message across. World Food Day is a stark reminder of an ominous future: if Europe is running out of farmers that means our food security in the long-term is at stake. We need to facilitate the access of young people to the sector, for the benefit of the young people, for the benefit of the sector, and most importantly, for the benefit of future sustainable food production across Europe.”

CAP is a prime opportunity to make those changes towards an environmentally, economically and demographically sustainable European agriculture.

In order to secure our future, our food, our farmers, generational renewal must be prioritised in this reform of the CAP. 2020 will be too late.

To support the campaign and sign the pledge, click here.

Charlotte Johnston, Editor

Charlotte Johnston - Editor

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