European agriculture risks being overtaken by the rest of the world unless the EU tackles food security, market volatility and global warming in one go.

NFU president Peter Kendall said he was concerned the EU was not having joined-up discussions about issues surrounding food, farming, energy and the environment and that a global approach was needed to find solutions.

Speaking ahead of a global farming summit on Paris on Thursday (16 June), Mr Kendall said: “You can’t have a debate about CAP, food security and biofuels in one room and food production and volatility in another. It needs a global view or we will see more extremes.

“[European farm commissioner] Dacian Ciolos is promoting local, niche, small, family units and then saying ‘by the way, personally, I don’t like GMs’.

“That’s an appalling message for a major trading bloc and it’s not leading us to be more competitive.
“The European Commission’s directorate generals for food production, climate change and internal markets need to be brought together, or we will get Europe becoming a world trading bloc in the slow lane with the United States and China passing us by.”

The global farming summit coincides with the G20 meeting of agricultural ministers from around the world, who are meeting to discuss food and energy prices.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to use the meeting to call for tougher controls to curb speculation in global commodities markets and halt food and energy costs from spiralling further.

France is using its presidency of the G20 this year to try to tackle rising prices for commodities such as oil and grain, which it says have triggered social unrest and fuelled inflation.”