“This aid allows for inexpensive food”: for this breeder from Cantal, Europe “is necessary”

When we think of political Europe, we often think of agriculture. And this famous CAP, common agricultural policy. A justified link, moreover, since aid to agriculture amounts to one billion euros in the region.

But during the last farmers’ movement, Europe was often singled out. We therefore asked Patrick Bénézit, vice-president of the FNSEA, the National Federation of Agricultural Operators’ Unions, the first French agricultural union, and breeder in Cantal.

Europe, do you like it or not??

“It is necessary. Until the 1980s, the State supported the market, intervened when prices fell below production costs. There was a liberal shift. Today, it is Europe which compensates. There are also disability compensations for mountain regions.”

This aid allows consumers to have inexpensive food. Without this aid, no sector would cover its production costs.

So Europe is necessary??

“This policy is rather well done. When you are in the Massif Central and you sell meat in Italy, having a common currency avoids devaluations, as before.”

This aid allows consumers to have inexpensive food. Without this aid, no sector would cover its production costs.

So how can we explain the permanent criticism of Europe?

“Because there is a lack of direction and coherence between Europe and the outside world.

We add a rule every five minutes in Europe and at the same time, we let in anything and everything from the outside. This explains the distrust. Farmers do not understand these contradictions.

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We have no desire to return to meat with growth hormones and meats loaded with antibiotics.
We cannot be subject to competition that does not have the same rules. And this problem does not only affect agriculture.”

Yes, the big problem of the economy in the face of globalization. For consumers, it is important to know: are there still animal meals used in other countries??

“Animal meal, growth hormones are elsewhere, yes. In fact, it is even the norm. The European model is unique. And we want to protect it. If we fight, it is to protect it and not destroy it.”

Simon Antony

#French

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