As part of our #FoodFuture campaign, we spoke to Hilde Vautmans MEP about her experience growing up on a farm and the importance of the sector to Europe’s food future.
As a farmer’s daughter, I have always enjoyed working on my dad’s farm: feeding the cows and mucking out the stables. Farming is one of the most beautiful things there is, but it is also hard work to keep the company running and profitable. The sector faces many challenges, and the liveability of the sector is under pressure. Europe loses 1000 farms per day.
The agricultural sector has changed enormously in recent years. Gone are the days when farmers were only concerned with their crops or animals. The Farm to Fork strategy and Green Deal will be important factors to take into account in the coming years. Moreover, more and more farmers need to broaden the scope of their activities, such as tourism, and this out of necessity
However, the COVID-19 pandemic made us realize more than ever that we must cherish our local products and that it is important to be able to fall back on fresh products straight from the field. More and more people have experienced the invaluable value of our local farmers and growers during the lockdown. A trend that we saw across Europe and that we need to respond to. After all, we all bear a responsibility, because ultimately it is us as consumers who choose which food we buy and cook.
We really should be prouder of our farmers and the delicious, fresh produce they produce every day. Our farmers deserve respect. No farmers, no food, no future.