Joint statement: strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture

Published: 23/01/2024

In September 2023, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the start of a strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture to establish perspectives for a future-proof sector and address growing polarisation. As farmers, agri-food value chain and civil society stakeholders, we fully support the objective of “more dialogue, less polarisation” and want to avoid politicising the process.

Ahead of the official launch on 25 January, we call on institutional actors and stakeholders to guarantee a safe, inclusive and constructive environment for the dialogue to facilitate the emergence of a consensus on the transformation necessary for our agriculture and food systems.

Over the last few years, there have been many attempts to oppose visions on agriculture and reduce the agri-food chain to a political playground. At a time when our sustainability transition has already started and must speed up, pitching stakeholders against one another is counterproductive and far from what we aspire to and have started to build.

As the strategic dialogue is about to kick off, we look at it with high expectations and the willingness to collaborate with the European Commission and among ourselves. In these highly uncertain times, we need a vision that extends to 2050, considering all the unknowns, concerns and positive contributions of stakeholders around the table and prioritising future generations.

We need to establish a longer-term basis for work that does not focus on short-term gains but forward-looking solutions, enabling us to fulfil the initial ambitions of the European Green Deal for a just transition that is economically viable and profitable, socially inclusive and respectful of the boundaries of our planet and its ecosystem.

The methodology, in this context, will be key. Finding a common language, informing discussions with fact and science, feeding the process with a diversity of on-field expertise and making sure that it is chaired independently are some of the conditions that will make it a successful process.

In the diversity of signatories we represent, we stand committed to ensuring the dialogue is held in a constructive spirit and with an open mind. We count on the support of institutional actors to sit at the table with us and support the positive dynamic we have already initiated.