b'SINCE YOU ASKEDBY: NIELS LOUWAARSDARK SKIES OVER GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY. WHY ARE THOSE OVER EUROPE STILL BLUE?T he Common Agricultural Policythe other hand, maintains another vision hectare as a result of the proposals. Europe (CAP) became a major pillar underfood based on hard manual work on smalldoes export food at the moment, but at the the European cooperation after thescale farmsand some are willing to paysame time imports shiploads of soybeans Union for Coal and Steel ventured into aextra for products from such farms. This,and maize and a wide variety of other prod-wider economic agenda from 1957 onwards.combined with the number and complex- ucts. When food production in Europe goes Food security, combined with reasonableity of financial and other rules that farm- down as a result of stringent sustainabil-food prices and a fair standard of living forers are faced with, now adds to a broaderity rules, food production elsewhere, with farmers were among its major goals. Thegap between urban and rural views. Andbigger climate and biodiversity footprints CAP was so successful that already in 1984problems for governments to deal with it,will have to go up or food prices will be quota systems were needed to avoid butterrecently leading to massive changes in elec- permanently higher, such as currently faced mountains and wine lakes. Since then, foodtion outcomes in The Netherlands.in Africa as a result of the Russian invasion security has dropped from the EuropeanEuropean policies have turned fromof Ukraine.agenda completely. Food is abundant andproduction and income support to sustain- Food security relates both to food cheap, the quality of diets in terms of pro- ability, and above all the Planet componentavailability (production, storage, distribu-tein intake soared and obesity became aof the three Ps (People, Planet, Profit).tion) and to food prices. Of course, these bigger issue than malnutrition.There are very good reasons to give sometwo are interlinkedthe currently soar-Europe seemed an island; in the midstserious thoughts about the environment.ing food prices hike (18 per cent in 2022 of the growing surpluses, the first GlobalThe seed sector will also be affected, buton average in Member States) creates a big Food Conference was held in 1973, ring- above all, we are part of the solution!! Withquestion with respect to the phrase leav-ing the bells about food crises soaring allour breeding and seed technology. Ouring nobody behind in the Green Deal. An over the world. Regions, severity and causesmain limitation may be time; however, agri- increasing number of EU citizens already changed over time. Bangladesh and Indiacultural policy changes go faster than ourstruggle to make ends meet. An Arab in the 1960sthe Sahel region, Myanmarscience-based evolution can keep up with,Spring may be far off in Europe, but food and parts of Central America and Chinaand sometimes policies block opportunitiesprices have been a major cause for civil in the 70s and 80s and war-torn Biafra,for us to go faster.unrest throughout history.Horn of Africa, Central Africa, Sudan,This race towards increased sustaina- Food security is a complex but very Yemen and throughout recent history.bility is likely to create some serious fric- basic concept for society. It clearly does Acute food insecurity is on the increasetion with respect to food security. A freenot only relate to production and product again according to the 2022 World Foodlunch is hardly ever free. Too many restric- qualities, components that we can support Programme reports. tions to farming will create problems withthrough our seeds; it also strongly relates to In Europe, agricultural policiesproductivity. Now that the term strategictrade policies and realities, to consumption changed from stimulating production toautonomy is on the table in the frame ofpatterns and to income distribution. Food supporting farmers income in a worldgeopolitical developments, it is amazingsecurity should therefore not be left to DG where free trade was the philosophy andthat food doesnt seem to rank high onAgri, but to a much wider policy arena. An European farmers were increasingly facedthe strategic priority list. Where the EUEU Commission staff document on the with world market commodity prices.looks at re-opening mines for rare miner- drivers of food security looked, despite Partly because of that dependency on sub- als in Europe and export bans of high-techits flaws, like a good start to put the issue sidies, farming became less and less inter- products to an increasing number of coun- on different tables, but it appears to create esting for the young generation, except fortries, little analysis is made of the impactat best only tiny ripples in the pond of well-educated young entrepreneurs whoof EU agricultural policies on food securityEuropean policy makers. can manage increasingly mechanized, dig- in Europe. The only concern seems to be itized, and externally financed farms thatwhether there are enough stocks for short- Niels Louwaars is the Managing Director at can only survive at increasing economies ofterm shocks, but there is no mention of thePlantum. This article does not necessarily reflect scale. A growing part of urban society, oneffect of a long-term reduction of yield perthe views of all Plantum members.EUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 27'