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Conference "Local agriculture and short food supply chains" (Brussels, 20/04/2012)

This event will explore ways and means to mobilise and value the economic potential of local agriculture and short food supply chains. It is a joint initiative of Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy.

The CAP reform proposals for post 2013 adopted by the Commission on 12 October 2011 envisage a number of new possibilities for the economic development of small-scale farming with a local market orientation. In addition, other CAP policies and EU legislation on food hygiene are important for growth on such holdings. The focus of the conference was on the use of policy instruments, facilitating access to markets as well as reinforcing links between farmers and consumers, and improving the implementation of relevant hygiene legislation applying to short food supply chains.


In particular, the following issues have been addressed:

  • the implementation of adequate CAP support;
  • opportunities in local food systems, short marketing chains (including direct sales) by increasing consumer awareness of local farm products;
  • the need to better use the existing provisions of  relevant EU  legislation adapted to small-scale food operators and direct sales; cooperation of farmers/small food business operators with competent authorities responsible for hygiene.


Programme pdf - 6 MB [6 MB]




Opening speeches


Plenary session: Local agriculture in Europe today

  • "Local food systems" - Mercedes Bresso, President, Committee of the Regions pdf - 31 KB [31 KB] français (fr)


Workshop A

focused on appropriate CAP support mechanisms. The discussion was based on the following questions: how to better address needs of small-scale farm structures and target support schemes towards them ? Do the CAP proposals provide the necessary tools to unlock small scale farming potential?

Presentations by:

  • Dr Martin Pazeller, Abteilungsdirektor Autonome Provinz Bolzano pdf - 7 MB [7 MB] Deutsch (de)
  • José Miguel Afonso Fernandes, European Coordination Via Campesina pdf - 49 KB [49 KB] português (pt)


Workshop B

explored facilitating market access for small famers. The discussion was based on the following questions: what are the needs behind developing a scheme for local products? What should a scheme at EU level look like and why do consumers appreciate buying food from local farmers?

Presentations by:

  • Hans Leo, Natural Dairy Products of Tegernsee pdf - 153 KB [153 KB] Deutsch (de)
  • Stephanie Cabantous, AMAP (Association pour le Maintien d’une Agriculture Paysanne) pdf - 86 KB [86 KB] français (fr)


Workshop C

discussed a better use of the hygiene and food safety regulatory framework for small food producers. The discussion was based on the following questions: How to promote the use of flexible provisions among competent authorities? What practical examples are there of flexible approaches satisfying legal obligations? 

Presentations by:

  • Maria Anca Dalmasso, producer of canned fruits and vegetables, Casa de pe Deal pdf - 4 MB [4 MB] română (ro)


Workshop outcomes


>> Watch the video recording of the conference



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