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50th Anniversary of CAP Campaign

24 January 2012, at 8:42am

EU – The European Commission has launched the CAP@50 communication campaign to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Common Agricultural Policy, a cornerstone of European integration, that has provided European citizens with half a century of food security and a living countryside.

The year-long communication campaign includes an interactive website, an itinerant exhibition, audio-visual and printed materials, as well as a series of events in Brussels and the Member States.

"2012 is an important year not only to remember the past 50 years of history, but especially for us to look ahead towards a new reform of the Common Agricultural Policy," said Dacian Ciolos, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

"Back in 1962, Europeans were predominantly worried about having enough food on their plates. Today food security remains important, but we have also new concerns such as climate change and the sustainable use of natural resources. This campaign will help to reflect on this evolution."

Copa-Cogeca has welcomed the 50th anniversary of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

It said it is the only truly common policy and has made an important and successful contribution to the construction of Europe, to stabilising EU agricultural commodity markets, ensuring food security and to maintaining employment for 40 million people mostly in the rural areas of the EU, Copa and Cogeca Presidents said.

Gerd Sonnleitner, Copa President said: "The CAP provides the backbone of rural areas across the EU and has successfully met its objective of ensuring high quality food supplies at reasonable prices for 500 million consumers in the EU.

"Yet farmers' returns from the market are plummeting because we are opening up our markets to imports which do not have to meet the EUs' high standards and because farmers are up against the huge buying power of a few supermarkets.

"Farmers' incomes are only half that of average earnings. In view of this as well as increasing market volatility, scarce resources and growing world food demand, the upcoming CAP reform must be used to reinforce the economic role of farmers in providing food to ensure we have a dynamic, innovative and profitable CAP in the future and a flourishing agri-food sector."

Paolo Bruni, Cogeca President added: "We want to see better prices for EU farmers and their cooperatives.

"It is crucial to strengthen in the reform producer organisations, such as cooperatives, position in the food chain to meet the growing world food demand and ensure a competitive EU agri-food sector.

"Competition rules also need to be adjusted to enable cooperatives to grow in size and scale, increasing their competitivity and contributing to a rebalanced food chain.