Call for level playing field for all young farmers across the EU

A STRONG installation policy to ensure a level playing field for all young farmers in the European Union is being sought.

European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) president Joris Baecke said a policy that includes a financial aspect, such as a guarantee for credits, reduced interest rates or guaranteed interests rate is needed.

“Access to land and access to credit are two elements that are vital to turn a new leaf in the sector.

“Without public support, young farmers run into substantial financial difficulties to acquire land or obtain credits from the bank,” he said.

In terms of facilitating knowledge exchange, he said a better transfer of technology from the research centre to the farm is needed.

Mr Baecke said a successful CAP must provide predictability for agri entrepreneurs and have a stable and predictable budget. The new CAP should ensure a fairer payment for farmers.

He said CEJA has expressed many times it views against the historical model of direct payments.

Any new model has to recognise the high level and long-term investment made by young farmers.

He said the council had requested the EU institutions to allow farmers organise themselves in producers’ organisations to make agreement within the food chain on price.

It supports the idea that some part of direct payments could be linked to the provision of public goods.

A clear and transparent definition of what can be considered as public goods is needed.

“In addition to food production, we consider agri environmental services as public goods that should be rewarded,” he said.

Mr Baecke said CEJA requests a strong independence from energy and protein imports by developing bio-energy production and through an EU protein plan.


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