Session 2 – existing regulations and policy options
from Euromontana presented an overview of EU legislation of farm products such as PDO, PGI and organic. Euromontana has launched an initiative, the Charter, that aims at identifying the quality of products and ensuring its promotion is built with the objectives of creating added value and promoting local development. It is based on five principles:
- The raw materials must be derived from a mountain region.
- The processing must be carried in a mountain region.
- Production must take into account local concerns relating to sustainable development.
- Production must attempt to maintain the biodiversity and heritage of mountain regions.
- Production must be able to guarantee at all times the transparency of information to consumers.
The quality of products cannot be disassociated from that of the territories where they are produced. By characterizing the conditions of production, the aim of the Charter is to influence not only the quality of products but also the harmonious integration and positive incidence of economic activities carried out in fragile regions. As a result, this initiative which specifically addresses products, also targets the local populations and tourists visiting these regions.
Download: Session 2 – Cécile Levret (PDF, 1.100 KB)
DG Sanco, European Commission, gave an overview of the new hygiene regulations. He emphasized that the new regulations give room for flexibility and national adaptation, for instance regarding small quantities sold at the farm gate, processing at farm level and the accommodation of traditional methods to production. Producers and other interest groups should approach their national governments to discuss the implementation and its effect on e. g. HNV.
Download: Session 2 – Willem Daelman (PDF, 88 KB)
from Gothenburg University, Sweden, gave an overview of consumer behaviour and preferences regarding environment and other quality issues. Since consumer buy products that are available in stores and socially accepted, producers and retailers must focus on visibility and knowledge concerning HNV products vis-à-vis consumers in order to increase the return on HNV products. Consumers are worried about environmental issues but there exists a large attitude/behaviour inconsistency.
In-store consumer behaviour is guided by time, habits and financial resources as no norms exist regarding eco- or fair trade labelled products. But since HNV products don’t just affect strictly personal values, the knowledge of these other benefits is the key to success. So Cecilia's advice is to describe in a concrete manner how specific products affect the conditions of life for relevant members in the eco-system.
Download: Session 2 – Cecilia Solér (PDF, 160 KB)
The Swedish Minister of Agriculture, Eskil Erlandsson
visited the conference briefly and presented the government’s long term vision for agriculture and rural development. He underlined the importance of a global context, the belief in people's own will and capability to create jobs and development. Producers and consumers have a joint responsibility for the environment, animal welfare and other quality aspects as well as the possibility for producers to make a decent living. By using the market we can influence the production and its effects on e. g. the environment. But the market cannot solve these problems by itself. This is where politics have a role to play. The society should pay for collective goods produced by e. g. farming.
Download: Session 2 – The Swedish Minister of Agriculture, Eskil Erlandsson (PDF, 23 KB)
vice chairman of the Federation of Swedish Farmers, presented their vision - by 2010 farming and rural industries will have a leading position in Sweden in terms of growth, profitability and career choice for young people. Only competitive and profitable farmers are able to deliver the HNV that the society demand.
A system of payment for the public goods produced by the farmers is needed. The rural development programs are one important part of that system. For the concept of HNV to work, the definition of HNV must be accepted among both consumers and producers.
One has to accept that HNV could vary between regions of Europe. In some regions also individual farms can deliver HNV without being part of a larger HNV area. To preserve HNV, support from the CAP as well as income from the market will be needed.
Download: Session 2 – Elisabeth Gauffin (PDF, 247 KB)
DG Agri, European Commission, presented what had been done at the policy level so far regarding HNV. HNV is established as a concept, but it is still lacking a common definition and sophisticated monitoring tool. There is still a gap in terms of indicators and a need for statistical information. A HNV farmland indicator could be potentially useful and there is at present a study being carried out to provide Member States and the Commission with operational HNV indicator.
Download: Session 2 – Mathilda Åberg (PDF, 409 KB)
Natura 2000 and HNV are overlapping to some extent, but other features and areas have also to be identified; and finally There are some correlations between HNV and LFA, but they are primarily two separate matters.