The New CAP Needs Social Conditionality: An Open Letter

Social Platform has today joined over 300+ organisations, academics and personalities in calling for social justice in agriculture.

At least ten million people are employed in European agriculture, mainly as seasonal workers, day labourers or in other insecure statuses. Despite being defined as essential by the EU institutions and national governments when COVID-19 hit, the lived experience of many of these workers remains one of struggle, deprivation and violations of human rights. Inhuman working conditions, poor wages, long working hours, a high proportion of undeclared work and sub-standard housing are only some of the daily hardships faced by a farm workers in Europe. Workers often fall prey to widespread exploitation, including gangmaster practices and other forms of modern slavery.

The new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) needs to prioritise social conditionality. Indeed, no EU taxpayers money should contribute towards employers not respecting their workings rights.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents the EU with a unique opportunity – overhauling European agriculture to make it truly sustainable and socially just. The CAP must contribute to this objective, meeting ambitious environmental goals whilst upholding respect for agricultural workers; rights, which can never be considered red tape.

Read the full letter along with its signatories here.