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Europeans think agriculture and rural areas are important for their future

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Staff writer |
Switzerland farm
Survey   The survey was carried out in the 28 Member States

A new survey looks at European attitudes towards agriculture and the CAP. A growing majority of Europeans consider agriculture and rural areas as important for the future, with more than 90% respondents holding this view.

The survey was carried out in the 28 Member States of the European Union between October 17 and 26, 2015. 27,822 EU citizens from different social and demographic categories were interviewed face-to-face at home and in their native language on behalf of the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development.

A growing majority of Europeans consider agriculture and rural areas as important for the future, with more than nine out of ten respondents holding this view. In fact, more than six Europeans in ten consider agriculture and rural areas to be “very important”. In the UK 66% of respondents agreed with this statement.

Europeans consider the main responsibilities of farmers to be supplying the population with a diversity of quality products (42%) and ensuring the welfare of farmed animals (35%). Ranked fourth in the last survey, this latter responsibility has become increasingly important to respondents in many countries.

More than half of Europeans think the EU’s main objectives in terms of agriculture and rural development policy should be ensuring agricultural products are of good quality, healthy and safe (56%) and ensuring reasonable food prices for consumers (51%).

An increasing number of Europeans have heard about the support the EU gives farmers through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) since the last survey (69%, +5 since 2013). But only one in ten claim to know the details and a third still say they have never heard of it.

Europeans believe the EU is fulfilling its role in securing the food supply in the EU (70% agree) and in ensuring agricultural products are of good quality, healthy and safe (65%).

41% of Europeans consider the amount of financial aid given to farmers to be “about right”, however support has declined (-4 percentage points since 2013). An increasing proportion of respondents hold the view this amount is “too low” (29%) and 13% think it is “too high”.


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