Looking back at the conference
The conference is over and a week has passed. In the meantime also the organic agriculture organisation IFOAM EU has held its Congress in Tallinn. We thus surrounded the informal Agri-Fish Council from both ends, making it clear that agriculture needs a turn towards a sustainable path. Neither we nor organic farmers got the permission to address the ministers of agriculture, even though the main-stream COPA-COGEGA was present as usual.
As seen from the Conference press release the speakers and participants sent an open letter to the Agri-Fish Council and other decision-making bodies of EU. It is important to note that not only was it possible to have a common statement from a very diverse crowd of speakers from environmental NGOs but also several (even though not all) of the speakers representing agriculture also agreed to sign. And also among the participants who joined the letter were also people from both environmental and agricultural backgrounds.
The letter was sent to the participants of the Agri-Fish Council before the start of its meeting but we have not received any reply yet. Hopefully, a civil society letter from such a diverse background would not be left completely unanswered. We will, of course, send it to the relevant representatives of the European Commission and the Parliament as well.
One letter will of course alone not change the course of CAP “train”. There needs to be a lot of further efforts by the civil society. Luckily there is still some time.
Author: Aleksei Lotman