17 November 1995

Euro unions back modern approach

MODERN farm management does not conflict with sustainable development objectives, say European farm unions.

Modern farming methods which preserve national resources must be used to increase production, says a paper produced by the European farm union COPA and Europes co-operative group COGECA.

It cites a call from the United Nations for a 75% rise in agricultural output in the next 30 years to cope with a 5bn increase in the worlds population.

But the paper also warns that it will not be possible to guarantee sustainable development unless agriculture and forestry have a sound economic basis throughout the EU. It calls on the EU to develop an agricultural policy that allows European farmers to develop economically viable businesses and maintain a balanced ecology in rural areas.

It also invites Europes consumers to take part in open dialogue about production methods and their effect on the environment and the viability of farm businesses. &#42