Regional Forum for the Future of Agriculture
Participants at Reims agreed that unless there is a significant course correction, agricultural production around the world is at risk. Europe in particular is facing serious challenges in finding its new generation of farming entrepreneurs. Low agricultural prices and biodiversity preservation are interrelated challenges to which finding solutions is not easy.
In order to deliver on both production and environmental protection, there was broad agreement that Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the EU’s biggest budget item, remains the best tool with which to effect change and help the European rural areas turn challenges into opportunities. However, significant divisions remain between those who would prioritise production goals and those who wish to see the same CAP funds address greater environmental protection. Speakers and participants agreed that the new CAP should follow the direction set out by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and that the preservation of worldwide ecosystems must be a top priority. Furthermore, participants agreed that agriculture has a key role to play in addressing global challenges and thus must be moved to the centre of the food systems agenda and of SDG implementation.
There is vast potential and scope for innovation and the application of IT technology to agriculture. Thanks to precision tools, new breeding techniques and good cooperation between farmers and institutions, greater harvests could be achieved while reducing pressure to the environment. Still, FFA Regional participants expressed concerns as to whether Europe would allow its land managers full access to these potential benefits.
The discussion and debate held in Reims are part of a Europe-wide search for solutions to the questions raised at the main FFA event in Brussels, which will see its 10th anniversary edition in Brussels on March 28 of this year.
Videos from this event
Summaries from this event
Jan 25, 2017
Welcome and introduction
• Christoph Büren, ELO President
Panel 1: "Why produce for global needs?"
• Sébastien Abis, Director, Club Demeter
• Catherine Vautrin, Vice-President of the French Parliament, President of ReimsMetropole
• Michel Portier, Director General, Agritel
• Denis Tardit, President, Syngenta France
Questions & Answers with Thierry de l’Escaille, ELO Secretary General
Panel 3 "Mission innovation 2025"
• Philippe Lecouvey, Director General, ACTA
• Jean-Marie Chauvet, Director, Jacques de Bohan Foundation, Institut de la Bioraffinerie
• Pascal Bordes, YARA France
• David Causse, President, SDF France
Questions & Answers with Jean Paul Bordes Director Research & Develo ment, ARVALIS
Closing remarks by Charles de Courson, Member of the French Parliament