Saturday, November 07, 2015

Lords Leap to Action on Agriculture

-Lords EU Committee to investigate responses to price volatility and how to create a more resilient agriculture-

image credit: takkk
The House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Energy and the Environment have launched a new inquiry into how the agriculture industry can respond to price volatility and help make farming more resilient. (Ref:)

Commenting the Committee Chairman, Baroness Scott of Needham Market, said:

"Europe needs a resilient agricultural sector to ensure the secure, sustainable and affordable supply of food to EU citizens. We also need to ensure farmers have the financial security they need to carry on in what can be a difficult and unpredictable industry.

"At a time when weather related events, geopolitical developments and market fluctuations that impact on agriculture are likely to be ever more common we need to ensure farmers and others have the appropriate support to manage risk.

"The ongoing reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy provides an opportunity for these issues to be addressed. I hope our inquiry will have an impact on that reform. I would invite anyone with an interest in this area to give us their evidence by the end of the year. The evidence we receive will form the basis of our recommendations to Government and the European Commission."

The Committee have published a Call for Evidence inviting written submissions to be received by Thursday 31 December.

Areas the Committee are inviting evidence on include:
  • What role can public policy play in mitigating the impact of price volatility? Should it mainly be the responsibility of EU institutions or Member States?
  • What are the key elements involved in the industry’s management of price risk?
  • How can famers mitigate the effect of volatile global commodity markets and currency fluctuations?
  • What role should the European Investment Bank play in supporting on-farm investment at low cost? What other mechanisms could improve access to investment finance?
  • What information is available to farmers to engage with market based risk management instruments?
  • How effectively does EU agricultural policy assist farmers to mitigate the impact of price volatility? Should the management of price risk be an explicit objective of the Common Agricultural Policy?
Three things immediately spring to mind:
  1. We’ve had agriculture for thousands of years and it worked fine until we tried to industrialise it.
  2. We’re not going to be in the European Union for much longer, and
  3. If the “Free Market” is so wonderful why do we always end up regulating it?

Here's Eva Cassidy

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