Brussels, 28.08.2020. For the informal AGRIFISH council, the Biodynamic Federation – Demeter International calls upon European Agriculture Ministers to seize this opportunity to shape ambitious sustainable agricultural policies for the future.

From 30th August to 1st September, the European Ministers of Agriculture are having their traditional informal meeting. On the agenda are the Covid-19 and its impact on the agri-food sector, as well as initiatives on the issue of animal welfare. Although not officially on the programme, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will of course be part of the discussions.

A simple look at the fields is enough to see that our current agricultural system is out of breath. The decrease in the number of pollinators, loss of soil fertility, extreme climatic conditions and now the corona crisis highlighting working conditions in the meat industry, are all examples of the critical situation we are in. Without a radical change in agricultural practice the situation will only get worse and with it the economic situation of the farmers.

With the Green Deal, the European Commission indicates a good direction for a more sustainable future. Both the Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity strategies set up ambitious targets, including the target of 25% organic land by 2030, that need to be implemented by the upcoming CAP reform. A simple optimisation of the current agricultural system is clearly not enough to tackle all the challenges faced by farming today. “What we need is a strong political incentive to shape a radically new CAP that protects the environment, preserves biodiversity, promotes animal welfare and offers economic prospects for farmers”, affirms Christoph Simpfendörfer, General Secretary of the Biodynamic Federation - Demeter International.

In addition to the CAP reform, Ms. Julia Klöckner, the German Minister for Agriculture, announced her intention to make the issue of animal welfare one of her top priorities. The Biodynamic Federation – Demeter International can only welcome this decision as there is an urgent need for action to ensure animal welfare. Indeed, as the minister herself said “there is no right to have cheap meat every day”. This implies that animal husbandry needs to ensure the protection of the climate and the environment, at the same time as protecting the well-being of the animals. But only through stringent legal requirements for all farm animals and their control at European level, as well as mandatory meat labelling will it be possible to achieve these objectives. “Animals are an important part of farm life, they should be treated and respected as such” says Clara Behr, Head of Policy and Public Relations at the Federation.

We have now a unique window of opportunity which must be seized in order to avoid further damage. A new vision for the CAP reform, as well as ambitious targets for animal welfare, are needed to shape a clear sustainable future for farming.

Press contact: Clara Behr, Head of Policy and Public relations

Email, Phone +32493140455                                                        

The Biodynamic Federation – Demeter International is the only organic association that has built up a network of individual certification for biodynamic farming worldwide. Its basis is the Biodynamic agriculture method, originated by Rudolf Steiner in his “Agriculture Course” given in Koberwitz in 1924, and developed further in practice and research. The Biodynamic Federation – Demeter International is an umbrella organisation with 46 members organisations in 37 different countries across the world.

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