Eurostat has now published its preliminary estimates for the economic accounts for agriculture in the EU for 2020. This gives us the first authoritative overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural markets and farm incomes in what has been an extraordinary year. Until now, information on monthly trends in agricultural prices and agricultural trade has given us some partial insights into the impact of COVID-19 on the agricultural sector. Despite wobbles in some sectors, by and large these indicators show that the agricultural sector has been remarkably resilient. Despite this, significant aid packages have been made available to farmers by EU Member States.… Read the rest
Eurostat has now published preliminary estimates of 2019 agricultural output and income. The value of agricultural output in current prices shows a small further increase in 2019 as compared to 2018. Compared to the previous peak in 2013, agricultural output value has grown by just under 4% in the past six years. This is mainly due to an increase in the value of crop output, with the increase in the value of livestock output lagging behind. However, because of greater spending on intermediate consumption, gross value added in agriculture remains just below the record 2017 level.
Operating surplus (the return to land, capital and family labour) also increased compared to 2018 but is still well below the record 2017 level.… Read the rest
Worries and concerns about food security, real or imagined, have figured prominently in the debate on EU agricultural policy since the Commission launched its consultation document on the recent CAP reform in 2010, stimulated by the price spike on global food markets in the years 2007-08. This week, at the informal Farm Council in Milan on Tuesday 30 September under the Italian Presidency, agricultural ministers will discuss how EU agriculture can contribute to the food security challenge.
One of the issues that constantly pops up in this debate is the importance of food self-sufficiency as a guarantor of food security. Food self-sufficiency is defined as the proportion of domestic consumption met from domestic production.… Read the rest