European Elections 2009 - Healthy food and a healthy rural environment
The European countryside faces huge challenges: biodiversity loss, climate change, a water crisis and degradation of soils. At the same time the need to maintain food production is as strong as ever and land is coming under new pressure from the production of biofuels and biomass to generate energy. To ensure a sustainable future for Europe we urgently need a different Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). We need a fair and transparent system that rewards farmers for the delivery of public goods, rather than wasting money on untargeted subsidies. We need a new pact between citizens and farmers that fully recognises the essential role land management and food production play in society.
• Reform the CAP by clearly linking any public payments to the delivery of public goods.
• Secure a sufficient EU budget for the conservation and management of natural resources and biodiversity in the wider countryside.
• Support marginal farming systems that perform vital environmental roles.
• Make the price of farm products and farm inputs reflect both environmental harm and environmental benefit.
Caring for our water, soil and biodiversity is key for long term food security and the stability of ecosystems.