A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
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When floods will wash away British agriculture

March 3, 2014

In the name of the renationalization principle, various member-states are taking advantage of the new CAP to adjust it to their agricultural sector. Britain has thus opted for the convergence of all subsidies and has excluded coupled aid. There is no redistributive payment, but a five percent reduction of payments over €150,000. Such liberal approach also provides farmers with the choice to produce depending on market conditions, while 87 percent of subsidies will be earmarked for rural development programs1. The decoupling of financial support has become an intangible and widely accepted reality in Britain, as has the non-intervention in markets.

Yet, faced with British agricultural challenges, it is not clear whether the new “à la carte” CAP, left to the sole market discretion, will provide farmers with stable work and revenues, and suggests competitive distortions within the European Union.

Just like its neighbors, Britain is impacted by endogenous and exogenous risks. Right now, the country is experiencing these perils with the most severe flooding in 250 years, which has destroyed a portion of crops––especially in Southwestern England––and whose long-term consequences could be devastating.

Nonetheless, agriculture is a crucial segment of the British economy and fully contributes to its international competitiveness. The National Farmers Union (NFU) points out that the share of agriculture in the country’s economy rose by 54 percent between 2007 and 2012. Yet, the allocated funds are contingency measures, which, although valuable due to the urgent nature of the situation, will only temporarily obscure the structural failures of the British agricultural policy.

The dangers of excessive liberalism in threatening times for the survival of the country’s agriculture are real ones: Letting markets decide on the fate of British farmers would, in the end, further send them on the road to disaster.

The floods in Britain and their impact on agricultural activities are providing the agricultural sector with an opportunity to implement genuine stabilization tools in, especially in Europe, at a time when unregulated free trade and deregulation excesses––a result of the Thatcher era across the Channel––might only worsen a context already hampered by serious climate hazards.

1 According to 'Terre-net'

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Paris, 25 June 2019