At a congress in Cáceres, in Spanish Extremadura, the president of ACOS – Association of Southern Farmers, Rui Garrido, recalled that a new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union (EU) is coming, but “with many uncertainties”.
“And already with many voices to consider” the new community support framework is “out of date in the face of the contingencies caused by the pandemic and the war”, he said, speaking at the III Luso-Spanish Congress of Extensive Livestock and Rural Development.
“One thing is certain”, at least for Portugal, according to the president of ACOS, based in Beja: “Portuguese livestock producers will receive less aid than in the previous community framework”.
Questioned by the Lusa agency, Ángel Pacheco, president of the Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de Extremadura, stressed that this region and the Alentejo, where the 'dehesa'/montado exists, are separated by "a fictitious border" and have "the same problems and the same opportunities”.
“We have the opportunity to demonstrate that extensive livestock farming”, with cattle grazing freely in a varied system, “should be the one that best meets all the objectives set by the EU in the 2030 Agenda, in terms of sustainability”, he argued.
For this reason, according to the head of the structure that has 189 associated cooperatives, extensive livestock farming should have “a quality distinction” from the EU.
“It is thanks to the work that farmers and livestock producers do that we are already able to meet these objectives that the EU asks of us, or that we only have to adapt on a very small scale to be able to fulfil them perfectly”, he argued.
For the future, at European level, policies to promote sustainability will have to “give priority to those who are working with this sustainability”, to those who have been doing it over time, but who still continue to “try to convince current generations that this type of extensive production is the most viable”, he maintained.
With the high production costs in Portugal and Spain, extensive livestock producers are not “profitable only with the market”, they have to “be helped by Europe”, he defended.