European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

The positions of agricultural unions on social issues involving the EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP)


The creation of social instruments within or linked to the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the main focus of agricultural unions in Europe.

For the 10 million agricultural workers and their unions, the CAP is of crucial importance, as without it many farms in Europe would be unable to survive. Nevertheless, agricultural workers are well aware that the CAP is unsocial. It is not sufficiently linked to European Union priorities and makes no use of its possibilities to promote social cohesion and put an end to inhuman working conditions.

They are calling for an end to subsidies for employers who exploit workers and do not provide proper conditions of employment. They are calling for written information on their employment relationships from the first day of employment. And they are calling for the application of the EU framework directive on health and safety at work for assessing good working practices as the basis for the distribution of CAP direct payments.

Employees need to be trained. This is the only way to improve their qualifications and employability. For this reason, CAP-financed training programmes in EU Member States should also be open to employees.

These demands come from the 10-million European agricultural workers. Together with their families, they constitute a population of 25 million, i.e. a major slice of the total EU population. They have called on their unions to fight on their behalf to make Europe more social.

This brochure outlines the simple measures to take.

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.