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Europeans Back CAP Aims

11 March 2014

EU - There is broad support among Europeans for the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and a small majority are willing to pay slightly more to have product origin information shown on milk and meat labels, according to the latest survey from Eurobarometer.

Over three-quarters (77 per cent) of Europeans believe the CAP benefits all EU citizens and over 90 per cent support the main trends of the new CAP, such as making aid fairer and more targeted (92 per cent) and linking the granting of aid to farmers to adhering to environmentally-friendly farming practices ('greening', 91 per cent). These are the main conclusions of the Eurobarometer survey on the CAP published by the Commission.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Development, Dacian Ciolos commented: "These results bear out the importance Europeans attach to support for farming and the countryside. They also illustrate the significant extent to which the content of the reformed CAP is attuned to civil society expectations.

"This strong fundamental symbiosis between citizens and farmers will be strengthened by the new CAP, which will help European farming deliver an enhanced and increasingly tangible package of societal, environmental and economic benefits to European society as a whole and to individual European taxpayers in their everyday life."

Other trends highlighted by the survey show Europeans attach increasing importance to agriculture, viewing it, alongside rural development, as 'very important' for the future (53 per cent, +7 points compared with 2009). An absolute majority also thinks it important to safeguard diversity in farming and food products in the European Union.

More than 80 per cent of Europeans support the key CAP objectives, from guaranteeing food product supplies, more balanced rural development, to aid for young farmers.

There is even greater support for the key initiatives of the reform: 91 per cent (+4 per cent) regard linking the granting of aid to farmers to adhering to environmentally-friendly farming practices ('greening') as a welcome move, while making aid to farmers fairer and more targeted is approved by 92 per cent (+4 per cent compared with 2009).

The majority of EU citizens endorse the granting of aid to farmers and the proportion of that aid in the EU budget. The amount of aid awarded to farmers is deemed adequate by 45 per cent, 'too little' by 26 per cent and 'too high' by 13 per cent.

Ninety-one per cent of Europeans think it important to assist vulnerable farm businesses facing climate- or health-related or economic difficulties and nearly one in two respondents describe this principle as 'very important' (48 per cent).

Sixty-four per cent of Europeans have heard of EU aid to farmers under the CAP compared with only 41 per cent who stated in the previous survey in 2009 that they had ever heard of the CAP.

The majority of Europeans (61 per cent) are aware that income levels in farming are lower than in other sectors of the economy.

On consumer information, the survey shows that Europeans are very attentive to the quality of food products such as milk and certain types of meat and have high expectations of product traceability. A majority (53 per cent) are even willing to pay slightly more to have product origin information shown on labels.

Further Reading

You can view the full Eurobarometer report by clicking here.

TheMeatSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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