Over the past few years, price volatility has become a central concern for European farmers and consumers due to changes in demand, supply and the structural characteristics of the market.
This has resulted in an increase in costs and debt for farmers, with 2.4 millions EU farms disappearing between 2005 and 2010 and it has become more difficult for farmers to establish and grow their businesses. In turn, consumers have more limited access to basic and quality goods due to high prices.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) addresses this problem mainly through direct payments as compensation to farmers, rather than by tackling price volatility through market intervention. Risk management tools are included in Pillar II, but critics point out that they represent only 0.4% of the total CAP budget.
Ahead of the CAP review at the end of 2017, EURACTIV organised a high-level Forum to discuss how to make the CAP work for both farmers and consumers. Questions included:
• Is price volatility the greatest challenge to farmers and consumers?
• How can farmers get a fair deal? Are the measures implemented by the EU and the CAP enough?
• How to improve and make the supply chain more effective? Are local agriculture and a short supply chain still a dream?
• What role can retailers play for a more sustainable supply chain?
• How can consumers influence the market?
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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.