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Agricultural Policy and International Solidarity

GUN RUDQUIST, 05 NOV 2008

Between 2004 and 2006, the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF), the Church of Sweden and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) met to discuss how the agricultural policy of the European Union — the Common Agricultural Policy, or “CAP” — might be developed so that it both benefits Swedish agriculture and renders the food supply in developing countries more secure.

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The Great Set Aside Swindle

JENNA HEGARTY, 05 NOV 2008

Set aside will be abolished as part of the CAP Health Check in late 2008 but was effectively lost more than a year ago when the Council of Ministers approved the rate at 0%.

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Food and Environmental Security: Two Objectives for a Post-2013 CAP

ALLAN BUCKWELL, 04 NOV 2008

Our suggestion is that the slogan of Food and Environmental Security neatly summarises in a positive, easily understood way the challenges faced and thus a suitable pair of objectives for the new post-2013 CAP which could command wide public support.

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Addressing the Real Crisis

PIETER DE POUS, 02 NOV 2008

Over the last year we’ve gone through an oil crisis, an energy crisis, a financial crisis and some say even a food crisis. More recently people have started talking about a possible phosphate crisis. The almost Pavlovian reaction of most politicians to these crises, whether real or perceived, is to secure supplies and demand a quick increase in production of food, oil and minerals.

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Food Security Does Not Mean Self-sufficiency

INDHIRA SANTOS, 30 OCT 2008

Food prices have shown a sustained increase for the first time in decades. Cereal prices, in particular, have more than doubled since 2006, with more than half of that increase having taken place in 2008 alone.

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The Lure of Attaining Food Security for Europe through Self Sufficiency

ANTOINE BOUET AND DAVID LABORDE, 28 OCT 2008

One of the objectives of the European Common Agricultural Policy is food security, which is defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) as follows: “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” This is of course a basic objective of economic policy for any government, and an objective around which there is broad consensus. The main concern is about the strategy by which food security should be attained.

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Food Security and Biodiversity Loss: The Role of European Agriculture

FLORIAN SCHöNE, 20 OCT 2008

The increase in agricultural prices has triggered a debate on the role of Europe’s agriculture in combating the global food crisis and in redefining the priorities between food, feed and biofuel production. This debate is at risk of being manipulated by those who support a “productivist” and “protectionist” agenda.

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The End of the Agricultural Treadmill: Another Nail in the Coffin of the CAP

HARALD VON WITZKE AND STEFFEN NOLEPPA, 18 OCT 2008

The Agricultural Treadmill characterised world agriculture between 1870 and 2000. During this time period farmers produced ever more food for ever more humans at ever declining prices, and farm income growth lagged behind income growth in other industries.

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Delivering Sustainable Land Management

CPRE, 17 OCT 2008

CPRE, as a signatory to Wildlife and Countryside Link’s policy perspective (Beyond the Pillars, March 2008), on CAP reform would like to see the CAP evolve into a new policy that delivers sustainable land management. The policy should reward farmers for the full range of environmental public goods that are produced through farming activity, while also being compatible with sufficient provision of high quality food and renewable energy. Such a policy may not require complete self sufficiency in food. However, it should avoid relying heavily on a global approach to food and energy security focused purely on free markets which will be susceptible to extreme weather, global or regional economic instability and/or political events that could disrupt supplies.

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Demographics and Global Food Security

JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN, 16 OCT 2008

There is a great deal going on in this universe at present, arguably more and certainly at a faster pace than ever before; remarkable developments in information and communications technologies along with changes in transport also mean that there is a greater global discussion buzz than one could have dreamed of only a couple of decades ago. What is surprising is how comparatively little demographics feature in these discussions.

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The “Productivist” Approach to Food Security: Hazy Arguments and Clear (Vested) Interests

ARIEL BRUNNER, 15 OCT 2008

The recent spike in food prices has unleashed the “food security” debate. Many have immediately jumped on the bandwagon, trying to exploit it to the benefit of several old schools of thought: protectionism, a defence of the current perverse distribution of CAP subsidies, and the arguments for less environmental protection and in favour of a freer hand with agricultural inputs. The common thread, and common mistake, of these lines of thought is that the world is running out of food and Europe needs, or even has a “moral duty”, to produce more food.

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The Wrong Policies on the Rise to Target High Food Prices

JORGE NúñEZ FERRER, 14 OCT 2008

A combination of bad harvests together with an increase in biofuel demand have created a food shortage and, thus, rising food prices across the globe. This is a cause for concern, first because biofuel demand is increasing and, second, because the world presently lacks the productive capacity to ensure that sufficient stocks are available to keep up with demand when harvests fail.

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Maintaining Natural Capital During Food Crises is More Important than Ever

IRINA HERZON, 13 OCT 2008

The recent fall in the global food supply is being used as an argument to further increase agricultural production in order ‘to feed the world’. Overabundant and seemingly cheap food in industrial countries has resulted in widespread disrespect for food and the potential misuse of agricultural and rural development policy. Especially during times of strong demand for agricultural outputs, the CAP should direct support to maintaining long-term sustainability and land production potential across Europe’s farmland.

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Food Security and Trade Policies: the Janus Argument

ANTOINE BOUET AND DAVID LABORDE, 10 OCT 2008

Food security has been an historical goal of the CAP. However, if it was a source of worry fifty years ago, the situation has since evolved. World market integration has provided new means to fulfill this goal but has also given rise to new risks and constraints.

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Food Security Is Not Just Food Quantity!

AURELE DESTREE, 09 OCT 2008

Following the UN approach, the concept of food security is formed by four elements: (i) the sufficiency of supply; (ii) the stability of supply; (iii) food safety; and (iv) the affordability of food. Nowadays, the concept is mostly identified only in terms of the sufficiency of supply, leaving the other three elements to the side or even in opposition.

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