Agriculture launches communication campaign on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

News - 2022.7.4

The aim is to bring the rural and urban worlds closer together and, more specifically, to make people aware not only of what the CAP does for farmers and livestock farmers, but also for the benefit of society as a whole. "The CAP is a policy that supports all citizens, because it helps to provide safe food at reasonable prices," Planas said.

In this regard, the minister referred to the 60th anniversary of the CAP and the paradox that it is still largely unknown to many people. According to the latest Eurobarometer, 38% of the Spanish population have never heard of the CAP, while another 53% are familiar with it but are unaware of its particularities. These figures place us below the EU average and make this new promotional campaign "opportune, necessary and pertinent".

The minister pointed out the benefits of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for society as a whole, as it provides healthy, quality food, while favouring environmental sustainability and the development of rural areas.

The implementation of this policy has led to a breakthrough in the quality and safety of EU food and beverages, which are among the best guaranteed in the world. Minister Planas recalled that, in Spain, the CAP has been a transcendental boost for the agricultural sector, as reflected, for example, in the 48% increase in agricultural income from 1990 to the present day, and the five-fold increase in exports, which now exceed 60 billion euros. Spain has gone from having a negative agri-food trade balance in the 1990s to achieving a positive balance of 19 billion euros in 2021.

Minister Luis Planas also took the opportunity to mention the CAP's capacity to adapt to the needs of society in each historical period. The new CAP, which will come into operation on 1 January 2023, will allocate 43% of its budget to climate and environmental objectives, in line with the European Green Pact and its more agricultural strategies, such as "Farm to Fork" and "Biodiversity for 2030".

Another of the new features that Minister Planas recalled about the CAP 2023- 2027 is that of favouring generational change and the incorporation of women into the rural sphere. More precisely, the campaign "What happens in the countryside stays in the countryside" has specific messages for these population groups, as they are considered to be the main protagonists of the transition to a digitalised agricultural production model.

The ministry's campaign is ambitious and will be deployed through digital media, television, radio, print and outdoor advertising. It is estimated that 700 million impacts can be reached. The aim is to improve the Spanish population's knowledge of this important European policy which "is very present in our daily lives", as it concerns the form of food and how it reaches our fridges and our plates every day.

The pandemic and the current crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine have highlighted the importance of food production, circumstances that have vindicated the importance of the PAC in everyone's daily life.

The CAP accounts for one third of the entire EU budget, although it generates barely 1% of all public expenditure of EU states. With an expenditure per EU citizen of 31 cents per day, the 447 million inhabitants of the EU "have a stable supply of diverse foodstuffs at reasonable prices and with the best guarantees, while helping to maintain the environment and the rural world", Planas stressed.

In Spain, the CAP alone accounts for some 6.8 billion euros per year, directly reaching more than 680,000 beneficiaries in Spain. The bulk, some 5.7 billion euros, is for direct aid and market measures, which mainly "provide a safety net for our producers, protecting them against crises and helping them to compete in a globalised world".

Rural development funds amount to some 1.1 billion euros per year and are complemented by state and regional funding of a further 550 million euros.

For the new CAP, and despite the reduction in the EU budget due to the UK's exit from the EU, "we have managed to maintain the budget for Spain, with 47.7 billion euros for the period 2021-2027.

In this new CAP, in addition to digitalisation and the modernisation of farms towards increasingly sustainable models to combat climate change, generational change will be key, as Spain will allocate "220 million euros per year exclusively to incorporate young people into farming". It is also important that, thanks to Spain, for the first time the future CAP, will include measures to promote equality in rural areas. This is one of the specific objectives of agricultural policy.

Non official translation