Demeter demands an agricultural policy for farmers, not for markets

Financing from European taxpayers should only support farmers who provide services for the general public. This demand was voiced by Stephan Illi, executive director of Demeter Germany, at his meeting with Georg Häusler, cabinet head for the EU-agriculture commissioner Ciolos, in Brussels on 18th September 2012. Illi, an agricultural engineer, submitted documentation developed at 13 workshops in seven European states. At these workshops, Biodynamic and organic farmers expressed their expectations related to agricultural policy – very personal and in the form of regional messages. Häusler listened attentively to the organic farmer’s concerns and demands for almost one hour.

The German Demeter Association together with Demeter International had initiated the workshops. Andreas Biesantz from the Demeter office in Brussels emphasised that numerous proposals for a sustainable agricultural system in Europe, which go far beyond the current discussion around the CAP had been collected at these workshops.  The workshop facilitators in Brussels were Andreas Boegner and Angelika Schall. They had driven 12,000 kilometres to their various appointments with farmers in Europe between February and July. As a symbol for the participation of the farmers, they handed over the ‘waterglobe’, which each workshop participant had been holding in his/her hand, to commissioner Ciolos.

A twelve-part exhibition as part of the final stage of the Good Food Marches took place the next day. In the course of this demonstration, numerous European initiatives such as Demeter advocated an EU-agricultural policy system change that will promote an organic, peasant-based, fairer agricultural system.