Struggle for farmers surviving

Struggle for farmers surviving - by Ake Karlsson president of Swedish Small Farmers Organization

I will now tell you about the Swedish small farmers and their experiences of the EU-membership. But first some history about Swedish farming. In the fifties there were approximately 250.000 dairy farms. In 1995 (EU entrance) Sweden had 20.000 dairy farms and today there are only 10.000 left.
The total number of farmers 1995 were about 92.000 and today there are about 67.000.

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Vote for Quality

Report from the international seminar "Vote for Quality - - YES for Polish Farmers"

A seminar organized by ICPPC (The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside) took place in Stryszow and Cracow on May 25th - 26th. Among the participants were: Ake Karlsson - president of Swedish Small Farmers Organization, Sir Richard Body - the Member of UK Parliament, author of many books about the European agriculture and the development of Europe, Luise Hemmer Pihl - Danish journalist and member of People's Movement Against EU, Hanna Mitoñska - Farmers Union "Ojczyzna", Ma³gorzata Cieœlak - secretary of Polish Christian Entrepreneurs Association as well as small family farmers from Stryszow area and journalists from press TV and radio stations.

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Proposals on how to save the European model of family farms

Proposals on how to save the European model of family farms in an enlarged Europe
- by Dr Caroline Lucas, Member of the European Parliament

(…)The case that I will make is that if enlargement is to be successful, it must be undertaken on more equitable terms, with sustainable development, rather than free trade, at its heart. The Greens in the European Parliament are making the case that the current EU enlargement strategy pushed forward by the Council and the Commission is, by and large, a simple free trade approach, which leaves the major burden of structural adjustment and the impact of economic liberalization on the candidate countries themselves.

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Jadwiga Lopata: 2002 Goldman Prize winner, Poland

The rural voice must be heard

Julian Rose, part of the speech at the Polish Parliament, January 2002,

The European Commission Directorate General for Agriculture is the place where the fate of Poland's countryside is being decided. We met the seven members of the team negotiating Poland 's agricultural accession to the European Union. We explained Poland 's unique opportunity to exploit its thousands of ecologically sensitive small farms and to hold up, as an example to Western Europe, its remarkable diversity of landscape, wildlife and wildflower habitats. We said that the traditions which have maintained these qualities needed support, if they are to be maintained. We asked that the EU would find a means of channelling available funds towards social, environmental and small business support schemes, this being the area where most benefit could be achieved.

Read more: The rural voice must be heard

© ECOTURISM

In recent years a new kind of holiday, based on ecological tourism to organic farms, was pioneered in Poland. This new type of holiday or vacation is associated with the increasing awareness of the importance of the traditional rural environment as a vital natural and cultural resource and treasure that can be both protected and enjoyed. Poland is ideal for such holidays, as it has a variety of regions with beautiful landscapes, rich, bio-diverse environments, and small-scale organic and traditional farms that are ideal vacation spots.

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