Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monitoring the EU response to the food crisis

Source: Concord Flash, nr. 58, 2008

At the end of July, CONCORD members met with Philip Mikos and Daniel Contel from DG Development to discuss the EU response to the global food crisis, following the European Commission’s proposal to use unspent Common Agriculture Policy funds to boost food production in developing countries. Since then the CONCORD European Food Security Group (EFSG), together with the FDR Working Group, has been contributing to debates on the one-billion-euro proposal, which is subject to co-decision procedure and thus needs the agreement of both the European Parliament and the Council.

On 10 September Tom Arnold (Chair of the CONCORD-EFSG European Food Security Group) took the floor as a speaker at the hearing in the European Parliament. The next day the EFSG issued a press release stressing that, in developing countries, small-scale farmers are crucial to the food chain as they provide most of the basic food. Any EU response to the food crisis therefore needs to be comprehensive, to ensure the “participation and empowerment of smallscale family farmers and their organisations” and, in the longer term, to address the structural causes of the soaring food prices. Read the press release.

At their last meeting, held on 17 September in Paris, the EFSG members met also with representatives of farmers’ organisations from East and West Africa. Together they told the European Commission that they welcomed its proposal but had concerns about the lack of provisions guaranteeing consultation with and participation by the key stakeholders. The EFSG is currently finalising its statement on the food crisis, which not only underlines the urgency of the situation but also proposes new policy responses, based on the human right to food, as well as new efforts in terms of aid

For further information contact Melis Alguadis

Food security issues were also debated at the seventh Brussels Development Briefings on 'Rising food prices: an opportunity for change?'

See the Euforic newsfeeds on Concord and on food security