Key focus areas
RISE has, since its inception in 2007, focused on key policy areas impacting the rural economy. The impact of the food security crisis of 2008 has brought the food and environmental security paradigm to the forefront of the political agenda. This crisis was the catalyst that led to the creation of the annual Forums on the Future of Agriculture alongside ELO and Syngenta. Every year, RISE continues to be instrumental in co-designing the agendas and intellectual content of the FFA’s that have taken place for five years so far. RISE’s Chairman Franz Fischler is also the Chair of the FFA.
Furthermore, RISE has since taken up a number of corresponding issues that came to the fore during the food security crisis. This includes notably policy work on the competition for renewable resources (land/energy/water/minerals) in relation to agriculture, food production and rural vitality. Our work has included in this context subjects such as: renewable energies and the negative impacts of agro-fuel subsidies on food, sustainable water use by farmers, nutrient recycling and the financing of environmental public goods produced by farmers. These subjects have become our priority focus areas over the past two years – please click on the subject headings to find out more about our work in these areas.
In fact, since 2009, RISE has given much attention to ecological and other public goods produced by farmers. Responding to a request and finance by the Italian Government, RISE has launched an ad hoc European task force producing a report on Public Goods from Private Land. Last year, it was selected by the European Parliament to coproduce with the IEEP a study on the Tools for the Provision of Public Goods to help the assembly prepare its position on CAP reform. Its president and CEO were involved in further advisory work for the EP regarding the forthcoming CAP reform via staging an informal policy dinner with the key rapporteurs, official testimonies and informal drafting of amendments to the Commission reform proposals. The issue of how to finance public goods is central to the debate and our current projects all have in common the need to find sustainable sources of funding for the provision of public goods alongside the provision of marketable goods such as food, fibre and fuel.
This is not to ignore the global developments and issues that affect and shape European agriculture and impact rural communities which have also been a key subject of analysis. For example, RISE has undertaken policy work on the rationale and consequences for agriculture of the planned Free Trade Agreement with Mercosur (which has reached a dead end). On-going analysis of the CAP reform, particularly with regard to financing for rural development has also been in sharp focus.
Finally, RISE has also looked at key issues influencing the sustainability and competitiveness of European agriculture and the food industry, in particular the functioning and reputation of the food supply chain. RISE seeks a consensus on the best solutions needed to add value to European agricultural and agro-food production in the face of numerous and accruing economic, environmental and food security challenges. For example; we have so far organised two meetings to reflect on the functioning of the food supply chain with our members and Institutional contacts and are currently following with a keen interest the initiative of one of our partner organisations – The French Société des Agriculteurs de France - SAF – in this area.
RISE has also been involved in the organisation and leading and/or participating in several conferences such as: