A rural agro-food industry pact for Euro-Mediterranean regional integration
Aware of the increasing food insecurity in the region, in 2007 IPEMED started advocating the creation of an “agri-food and rural pact in favour of the Euro-Mediterranean regional integration”, based on principles of proximity, complementarity, solidarity and co-development. Drawing on its first diagnosis and prospective works, the Institute further developed recommendations on the basis of the devices and principles developed by the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This is the object of the appeal launched in 2012 for the implementation of a Euro-Mediterranean farming and agribusiness policy. This policy would be the cornerstone of the new North-South and South-South cooperation model, it would aim at improving quantitative and qualitative food safety for populations.
Yet, in order to build regional collective food safety, it is necessary to take advantage of North-South and South-South complementarities (needs in cereals and animal products in SEMC and needs in fruits and vegetables in the EU, for instance). This construction must also rely on an integrated vision of food, farming and rural challenges in the Mediterranean, and take into account the issues related to employment, the promotion of rural spaces, the sustainable management of natural resources, health, etc.
IPEMED advocates several strategies:
- increasing local food production through significant investment in R&D, training, and the implementation of institutions that organise CMO (common market organisations) sectors and interprofessions, as well as regulations that enable a better quality of products (standards and labels);
- promoting the Mediterranean diet, especially through education and the development of geographic indications;
- contributing to the sustainable development of rural zones, through territorialised agribusiness industries;
- implementing supply contracts in the medium term, security stocks for strategic products and a community preference for all food products.