CEJA and MEP Milan Zver hosted a roundtable event in the European Parliament this thursday april 12th 2012 entitled “Sowing the Seeds to Harvest in Future: Supporting Young People into Farming” on the subject of generational renewal in European agriculture and young farmers measures in the CAP reform. Bringing together representatives from all three EU institutions, including a video message from Farm Commissioner Dacian Cioloş, interventions from MEPs Dess and Dantin, and Jesper W. Pedersen, Chairman of the SCA, there was broad consensus on the issue of the lack of generational renewal in European agriculture and the need for substantial measures to be taken to change this.

Attended by over 150 people, including MEPs, agri-attaches, journalists and young farmers from across Europe, the roundtable was hailed a success by co-organiser MEP Milan Zver, who said of the event: “Our objective was reached. We wanted to make sure more people knew about the lack of young people in the sector and that there are solutions to remedy this problem. That is what we achieved. The CAP reform is now in the Parliament’s hands, and it is up to us to make sure that the measures included on young farmers in the Commission’s proposals are secured and improved.”

Followed by a press conference, this event attracted significant attention from agri-representatives across the sector, and President of CEJA, Joris Baecke, used this opportunity to urge all three institutions to prioritise generational renewal in the CAP reform. Mr Baecke, speaking directly to the institutions, stated that “The future of agriculture is in your hands. We cannot wait another five years for these crucial measures, or there won’t be any European farmers left for the CAP to cover. We have highlighted the importance of the problem and proposed the appropriate solution: you must now ensure that this reform opportunity is not missed, so as to secure a competitive, productive and sustainable future for European agriculture.”