To put it bluntly:
The European Commission has a plan to eliminate modern farming in Europe.
The details emerged last month, as part of a “European Green Deal” announced late last year that calls for the continent to become “climate neutral” by 2050.
The commission speaks of “turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities.” It also talks about “making the transition just and inclusive for all.”
It should have added three words: “except for farmers.”
That’s because the EU Commission just released its “Farm to Fork” strategy, which is the agricultural portion of the European Green Deal. It announces a series of unrealistic goals: In the next decade, farmers like me are supposed to slash our use of crop-protection products by half, cut our application of fertilizer by 20 percent, and transform a quarter of total farmland into organic production.
The article details the various policies and notes the actual problems they would create vs. the stated goals.
What the European Commission now proposes, essentially, is smaller harvests. For consumers, this will lead directly to one thing: Higher prices. Food will cost more.
There’s also a deeper problem. How are farmers supposed to make a living when we’re growing fewer crops and selling less food? The commission fails to consider one of the most likely results of its misbegotten approach to agriculture: When farmers can’t turn a profit, they’ll quit farming.
Farming will be outsourced to other regions.
It also raises the question of where our food will come from, if it doesn’t come from our own farms. We could always import more food from other places. Global trade already is an essential feature of food production. We should encourage more of it.
Yet the European Green Deal will lead to substandard farming in places with less productive farmland. This may help fill bellies in a Europe that has fewer farmers. It may even salve the consciences of activists and bureaucrats in Brussels. It certainly won’t help the climate.