Jannes Maes, president of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA), presented suggestions to amend the Common Agricultural Policy for Young Farmers at the informal meeting of EU ministers of agriculture and fisheries in Tallin, Estonia in early September, 2017.
'Young Farmers already established in business and new entrants to the sector are exposed not only to local risks inherently associated with agriculture as a profession, but also global risks that are far-reaching and linked to supply and demand in fast-changing global markets,' Mr Maes said in his speech.
He added that risk management tools call for innovative solutions, including access to reliable, high quality information regarding market conditions and also tools which allow young farmers to manage their own risks. The amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy for Young Farmers suggested by CEJA, include a greater need for an EU safety net to cover climate, sanitary and economic risks; an improvement in the legislation covering insurance; the ambitious use of existing and new measures that provide loans and bank guaranties to young farmers; and amelioration of the framework for futures and future markets in order to shift risks away from farmers.
According to Mr Maes, the establishment of a crisis reserve in order to provide a decent safety net for farmers, and where food production is of the utmost importance and should be funded as much as possible through EU-budget surpluses rather than through direct payments. Direct payments could be considered a risk management tool and are a means of moving towards policy objectives, creating further sustainability on an environmental, social and economic level.
'All measures must be taken only to support active, professional farmers, while the Common Agricultural Policy must ensure the viability of family farms throughout the EU,' added the president of this European organisation of two million young farmers across Europe.