Farmers from across the world were united in Brussels this week to underline the crucial role of family farms in ensuring good quality food for consumers, growth and jobs. 'They are the backbone of rural areas. They outline key measures needed to ensure that family farms have a viable and competitive future, the World Farmers Organization (WFO), said in a news dispatch Thursday.
'This is more important than ever in a world of increasing uncertainty, market volatility and rising global food demand.'
The move came at a high-level event “North-South Family Farming. How to Respond to the same Challenges?”, organised by Copa-Cogeca and the World Farmers Organisations in Brussels, Belgium.
The event included panel sessions on the role of family farming in tackling specific challenges facing the agriculture sector as well as on what policy tools are needed.
High-level speakers participated in the event, including FAO Ambassador for the International Year of Family Farms (IYFF), Gerd Sonnleitner, Upa President Lorenzo Ramos,
Also present were Boerenbond President, Mr Vanthemsche, as well as key representatives from Africa and the EU Commission.
Copa-Cogeca and the World Farmers Organisation (WFO) want to ensure that family farms – big or small, intensive or extensive - have a competitive future and quality of life comparable to other sectors which young people want to be a part of.
Speaking at the event, Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General, Pekka Pesonen, said “Family farms account for a major part of the millions of people employed in the worlds agriculture sector.
'They are a key driver for growth and jobs in rural areas across the world, providing a wide, diverse array of good quality food produced in a sustainable way. The food is produced to meet the demands of millions of consumers, at the same time caring for the environment.'
He said that 'Family farms are the way forward. With demand expected to rise by 60% by 2050, investment in the sector must be stepped up.”
Marco Marzano, executive director WFO, said 'Farmers from all over the world should join forces in order to develop sustainable strategies based on an exchange of experience and knowledge.
'At the same time, they need framework conditions. The model of Family Farming provides the necessary flexibility and resilience to respond to global challenges in agriculture and rural development.'